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Annapolis notes 2/12

February 11, 2001

Annapolis notes 2/12



Power over budget

ANNAPOLIS - Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, only wanted to submit one bill this session - to give the Maryland General Assembly more power over the budget.

Although his duties as chairman of the Washington County Delegation prevented him from pursuing the legislation, he was glad to see last week that two Montgomery County lawmakers are taking up the cause.

Del. Nancy K. Kopp and Sen. Patrick J. Hogan, both Democrats, say members of the legislature should be able to increase line items in Gov. Parris Glendening's budget as long as they make equal cuts elsewhere.

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Right now, the legislature can only make cuts.

"Parris has entirely too much power with the purse strings," McKee said.

Unfortunately for the bill's supporters, Glendening also has the power to veto the bill if it passes.

Middletown teams honored

ANNAPOLIS - Five percent of the population of Middletown, Md., came to the State House on Thursday.

The Maryland General Assembly recognized four Middletown High School athletic teams that won state championships.

An estimated 100 students from the town of 2,000 people visited the state capital, said Del. Louise V. Snodgrass, R-Frederick/Washington.

The girls' soccer, girls' outdoor track, boys' track and field and girls' cross country teams all got proclamations from the legislature.

Mades receives another term

ANNAPOLIS - Washington County Sheriff Charles F. Mades has been nominated to serve another term on the Maryland Police Training Commission.

The commission meets six times a year to set policy and standards for law enforcement training and education programs, Mades said.

"It's real professional. We set standards and we expect everybody to stick to them," he said.

Mades, who was first appointed to the commission in 1991, will appear at a confirmation hearing today before the Senate Executive Nominations Committee.

Marijuana bill has sponsors

ANNAPOLIS - Two Washington County lawmakers are co-sponsoring legislation to legalize marijuana for medical use and a third says he is open to the idea.

Del. Louise V. Snodgrass, R-Frederick/Washington, and Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, have signed their names to the bill.

Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, said he will probably vote for the bill if he has the opportunity.

When McKee was in college, he had a roommate who was legally blind but could identify his friends after smoking the drug.

Office complaints voiced

ANNAPOLIS - Maryland senators just moved into a new $24.4 million office building, but they were already complaining last week about the renovation of their old offices.

When building administrators briefed the Senate on the $7.6 million, 18-month project, senators asked questions ranging from why their private toilets were being eliminated and whether there will be showers.

Possibly the most astonishing question came from Sen. Leonard H. Teitelbaum, D-Montgomery, who wondered if the state was going to build some sort of cover for senators to walk to the State House.

Senators now enjoy an underground tunnel, which will be shut down during construction.

Other senators did a quick reality check and suggested they could suffer the elements during the three-month session in 2002.

- Laura Ernde

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