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Status of local bills in Annapolis

March 25, 2000

Here are some bills of local interest and their status in this session of the Maryland General Assembly, which concludes April 10. Bills can be tracked on the Internet at mlis.state.md.us.

HB 17 - Would subsidize regional air service from Hagerstown Regional Airport to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The bill has passed the House and is in the Senate.

HB 186 - Would provide counties with matching grants of up to $1 million for increasing the amount they spend on agriculture land preservation. The idea has been referred to summer study by the House Appropriations Committee.

HB 527 - Would buy a health clinic on wheels, otherwise known as a Wellmobile, for Western Maryland. Although this bill has died, HB 433 provides for a Western Maryland Wellmobile. That bill has passed the House and is in the Senate.

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HB 593 - Would allow Washington County Commissioners to be reimbursed for travel expenses. Bill has passed the House and is in the Senate, where it had a March 23 hearing in the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee.

HB 639 - Would allow the Washington County Orphans Court to set new hours. The bill has passed the House and is in the Senate, where it had a March 22 hearing in the Judicial Proceedings Committee.

HB 754 - Would exempt farmers who sell their property into conservation easements from state capital gains tax. Although this bill has been killed, a similar bill (HB 661) has passed the House and is in the Senate.

HB 852/SB 702 - Would give the Washington County Humane Society a $125,000 state grant for its new animal shelter. Hearings have been held in the House and Senate.

HB 853/SB 704 - Would give Washington County Children's Village a $75,000 state grant for building improvements. Hearings have been held in the House and Senate.

HB 854/SB 705 - Would give the Hagerstown Area Police Athletic League a $122,752 state grant for an outdoor sports center. Hearings have been held in the House and Senate.

HB 855/SB 703 - Would give the Hagerstown YMCA a $500,000 state grant for its new facility near the Hagerstown Fairgrounds. Hearings have been held in the House and Senate.

HB 856/SB 723 - Would give the Washington County Agricultural Education Center a $150,000 state grant for building improvements. Hearings have been held in the House and Senate.

HB 857/SB 706 - Would give the Hagerstown Fairgrounds $150,000 state grant for picnic pavilions. Hearings have been held in the House and Senate.

HB 997 - Would give a tax break to farmers and their employees. The bill was killed by the Ways and Means Committee.

HB 1002 - Would give a tax break to farmers who buy new technologies. The bill was killed by the Ways and Means Committee.

HB 1073 - Would clarify that MIHI Inc. of Washington County can use a 1997 state grant to build handicapped fishing piers at Devil's Backbone Park. The bill was passed by the House and is in the Senate, where it had a March 22 hearing in the Budget and Taxation Committee.

HB 1075 - Would exempt the Rohrersville Band from $930 a year in property taxes. The bill has passed the House and is in the Senate, where it has a March 28 hearing in the Budget and Taxation Committee.

HB 1143 - Would allow the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts to appoint emeritus members to its board of trustees. Bill has passed the House and is in the Senate, where it had a March 23 hearing in the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee.

HB 1148 - Would increase the salaries of Washington County election judges and require the election board to release the names and addresses of judges to lawmakers. The bill has passed the House and is in the Senate, where it has a March 30 hearing in the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee.

HB 1183 - Would create the first state battlefield at South Mountain. The bill has passed the House and is in the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee.

HB 1215 - Would create a task force to study reflectors along state highways to prevent deer accidents. The bill was killed by the Environmental Matters Committee.

HB 1389 - Would change the distribution of tip jar gambling profits from a 60-40 split between charities and the Washington County Fire and Rescue Association to a 50-50 split. Would also stagger the terms of Gaming Commission members and put a $50,000 cap on charitable distributions. The House has given preliminary approval.

HB 1417 - Would create a Washington County Water and Sewer Debt Reduction Fund and require the Washington County Commissioners to put $500,000 a year in the fund. The bill has passed the House and is in the Senate.

HB 1427 - Would double Washington County's hotel tax to 6 percent. The House has given preliminary approval.

HJ 10 - Would name the new Washington County District Court building after the late J. Louis Boublitz. The bill has passed the House and is in the Senate, where it had a March 23 hearing in the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee.

SB 281/HB 486 - Would create a new commemorative license plate to honor agriculture. Both the House and Senate have passed different versions of the bill, which will have to be worked out by a conference committee.

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