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House approves ag tag

March 08, 2000

ANNAPOLIS - A proposal to raise money for agricultural education through special license plates got the key approval of a Maryland House of Delegates Committee on Wednesday.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation had opposed the creation of a commemorative license plate for agriculture, fearing it would cut into its $580,000 yearly profits from the bay plates.

But the bay foundation and the Maryland Farm Bureau worked out a compromise.

The new ag tags won't be called commemorative plates. Instead, they will be called special plates.

The end result will be the same - to raise money for a worthy cause, said Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington.

Shank is on the Commerce and Government Matters Committee, which gave overwhelming approval to the bill.

"I really appreciate my colleagues from the urban areas supporting us on this. It will go a long way toward making sure our children know where the food on their table comes from," Shank said.

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The compromise must still be approved by the Senate and House of Delegates.

Earlier this session, the Maryland General Assembly voted to extend the bay plate program for two years.

At that hearing, the foundation told Shank's committee it would not oppose the ag tag, but later reversed its position.

- Laura Ernde

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