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House passes county's marriage license fee increase

March 02, 2001

House passes county's marriage license fee increase



By LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

A bill to increase Washington County's marriage license fee by $5 solidly passed the Maryland House of Delegates on Thursday.

The bill, on a vote of 135-2, became the first of 17 local bills to win House approval so far this session.

If approved by the Senate, the cost of a marriage license will increase from $60 to $65.

The increase will provide funds for Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused, also known as CASA. The nonprofit organization helps victims of rape and domestic violence.

Del. Joseph R. Bartlett, R-Frederick/Washington, was one of two delegates to vote against the bill. Bartlett said he was concerned that a higher license fee would deter people from getting married.

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Two other local bills have received preliminary approval from the House this week. They would:

-- Let law enforcement officers buy equipment for undercover drug investigations without publicly advertising for bids.

The Sheriff's Department, State's Attorney's Office and Narcotics Task Force are required to advertise for any expenditure over $25,000.

-- Allow Prime Outlets at Hagerstown to host the same types of sidewalk sales and exhibitions that Valley Mall conducts.

Two local bills that would give pay increases emerged from a House of Delegates Committee on Thursday.

One would increase the Washington County sheriff's salary from $55,000 to $67,000 in January 2003.

The other sets county election board members' salaries at $4,500, the election board president's salary at $5,000, election judges' pay at $100 and chief election judges' pay at $125.

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