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Annapolis notes

January 21, 2001

Annapolis notes



Mooney loses rules fight


ANNAPOLIS - Sen. Alex X. Mooney has lost the first round in his fight to change state Senate rules.

The Senate Rules Committee on Friday rejected all three of his proposed rule changes. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, still plans to debate them before the full Senate this week.

Mooney wants to change the rule on committee assignments to give Republican leadership the final say in placements of Republican senators. Currently, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat, makes the appointments in consultation with Minority Leader Martin G. Madden.

Mooney has also asked for two technical changes to clarify the controversial rule that was used last year to call for a vote on gun control legislation.

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Mooney speculated that Miller, who sat in on the Rules Committee's debate, wants to keep the rules vague.

"Then the interpretation's up to him. It's hard to hold him accountable to the rules. He wants to have more control and decision for himself," Mooney said.

Smithsburg man nominated


ANNAPOLIS - A Smithsburg man has been nominated to serve on the Maryland Amusement Ride Safety Board.

If approved by the Maryland Senate, Glenn Dale Fishack Sr. will serve a four-year term on the board.

The board, which originated in 1976, recommends state regulations and standards to prevent dangerous conditions in amusement rides and attractions.

The nine members are chosen by the governor with the advice and approval of the Senate.

Bartlett seeks feedback


ANNAPOLIS - After two Maryland General Assembly sessions and six defeated bills, Del. Joseph R. Bartlett says he's taking a new approach to legislation this year.

Before he files any bills this year, Bartlett said he's going to get feedback from legislators in leadership positions.

"I'm starting to learn this process much, much better," said Bartlett, R-Frederick/Washington.

During his first session two years ago, Bartlett introduced two bills that didn't go anywhere. One would have banned pornography in state prisons.

Last year, four bills he proposed were killed. Two would have provided tax breaks for farmers. Another one would have required the state to study highway markers aimed at preventing deer-vehicle collisions.

This year, Bartlett is working on a bill to allow teachers to invest in the state's 401(k) retirement program.

He has gotten several other ideas from constituents, but wants to do more research before filing any bills.

Hecht has full schedule


ANNAPOLIS - Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, won't be able to attend many Washington County Delegation meetings this session.

The Wednesday morning delegation meetings conflict with weekly meetings of the Women Legislators of Maryland. Hecht is president of the organization.

Delegation Chairman Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, said he couldn't find another day that suits other members.

"I suggested a gender change," McKee joked. "She said she wasn't willing, but if I wanted to that was fine."

Senate debates on TV


ANNAPOLIS - People interested in the minutiae of state government will be able to tune into televised committee hearings and floor debates this session.

Maryland Public Television will broadcast the Senate debates on Wednesdays through February and March.

Senate committee hearings will be broadcast on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check local listings for broadcast times.

- Laura Ernde

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