Annapolis Notes 3-20

March 20, 2000

Mooney: Maryland budget too aggressive

ANNAPOLIS - State Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, was one of nine senators who voted against Maryland's budget last week.

Mooney said the spending plan was too aggressive and will cause trouble if the economy takes a downturn.

"We could be setting ourselves up again for tax increases," he said.

Mooney also took issue with a $32,000 expenditure.

During debate, the Senate restored a contractual position that had been cut on the recommendation of the Department of Legislative Services. The job was held by a member of the Democratic Central Committee.


Baldwin House decision may come within 30 days

ANNAPOLIS - A decision should be made within 30 days on whether to renovate the Baldwin House or tear it down and rebuild, a University System of Maryland official said last week.


Renovating would take longer and cost more, said Mark Beck, director of capital budget and planning for the university.

An environmental study is now under way to give cost estimates.

Citizens who belong to the community group Neighborhood's First said they would like to see the historic facade preserved.

Gov. Parris Glendening prefers renovation, his spokesman has said.

A Hagerstown and Washington County advisory group will also be consulted about the decision, Beck said.


Anti-threat bill dead

ANNAPOLIS - For the second year in a row, a Senate committee has defeated legislation intended to protect state employees from threats.

However, committee approved a similar bill that would make it a crime to threaten appointed officials and law enforcement officers on the job.

Washington County social workers told the Judicial Proceedings Committee last month that police are powerless to arrest people who have threatened to kill them.

Under the bill, sponsored by Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, violators would have been subject to three years in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, was one of two senators on the 10-member committee who didn't want to kill the bill.

Committee members said they thought the more narrowly drafted law had a better chance of passing the House of Delegates, which has killed similar legislation in recent years.


Fourth-grader recognized for geography knowledge

ANNAPOLIS - Fourth-grader Jeffrey Jacobson was recognized last week on the floor of the Maryland Senate for his knowledge of geography.

Jacobson placed third in the National Geography Bee at Eastern Elementary and was the only fourth-grader at the school to place, said Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington.

He also belongs to an elite team that will compete in the Maryland Fact Quiz Challenge this week against other teams from Washington County, Munson said.

Jacobson was accompanied by his parents, Terry and Wanda McGurl. Wanda McGurl works in the Williamsport office of Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington.

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