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Governor signs local bills today

April 19, 2001

Governor signs local bills today



Annapolis

By LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Washington County's sheriff will get a pay raise and local fire and rescue volunteers could get tax breaks under legislation to be signed into law today by Gov. Parris Glendening.

Glendening plans to sign 126 bills today. He'll sign important legislation providing prescription drug relief for senior citizens as well as a less serious bill to name the calico the official state cat.

Ten of the bills the governor will sign were sponsored by the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly or individual local lawmakers. They are:

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- HB 582, which gives the American Red Cross of Washington County a $300,000 state grant toward a new headquarters off Eastern Boulevard. Effective June 1.

- HB 618, sponsored by Del. John Donoghue, D-Washington, which gives Washington County Hospital a $470,000 state grant to finish renovating the Walnut Street Community Health Center. Effective June 1.

- HB 584, which gives the Washington County Commissioners the power to grant tax credits to fire and rescue volunteers. The county has no plan to implement the law. Goes into effect June 1.

- HB 585, which closes a loophole in Washington County's liquor laws that allows the prison population to be counted in the distribution of liquor licenses. Effective Oct. 1.

- HB 719, which allows the Washington County Commissioners to open a Rainy Day Fund to set aside money for tough economic times. Effective Oct. 1.

- HB 881, which lets the Washington County Commissioners use some hotel tax revenues to pay for advertising and legal fees associated with collecting the 6 percent tax. Effective July 1.

- HB 1179, which increases the Washington County sheriff's salary from $55,000 to $67,500 in January 2003, after the next election.

- HB 1186, sponsored by Donoghue, which will stop convenience stores from posting misleading gas prices on their highway signs. Effective Oct. 1.

- HB 434, sponsored by Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, which changes the rules for a state library funding plan to allow the money to be spent at middle and high school libraries instead of exclusively elementary school libraries. Effective Oct. 1.

- HB 647, sponsored by Hecht, which requires the governor to proclaim the month of March Women's History Month.

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