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Lawmakers react to Glendening's address

January 17, 2002

Lawmakers react to Glendening's address



By LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Some Washington County lawmakers said the vision Gov. Parris Glendening outlined in his final State of the State address Wednesday sounded out of touch.

"He certainly has a vision and he has a right to that vision. It's not necessarily consistent with most people sitting in the chamber," said Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington.

Munson pointed out that Glendening won't be back after this year, the end of his two four-year terms as governor.

Glendening cannot run for a third consecutive term.

Many lawmakers, though, will return if they win their elections in November.

Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, said he hopes the election brings a more moderate course for the state.

Mooney accused Glendening of not practicing the tolerance he preached about in his speech.

"Those of us who don't go along with his far-left agenda, he's shown the most intolerant behavior toward," Mooney said.

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During the address, Glendening spoke proudly of his accomplishments. During his administration, the legislature passed a controversial law to require that all handguns be sold with built-in locks. In order to protect the environment, they also put new regulations on farmers.

"Bragging about taking away my Second Amendment rights and putting farmers out of business through nutrient management regulations is very disconcerting to me," said Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington.

Shank criticized Glendening for going beyond the scope of the State of the State speech by talking about foreign policy issues.

"Our president has everything well under control and he doesn't need the governor's help," Shank said.

Del. Joseph R. Bartlett, R-Frederick/Washington, said the governor painted a rosier economic picture than is the case.

As Glendening was talking, Bartlett looked up some recent labor statistics on the Internet. The state's unemployment rate rose 22 percent from June through November and there has been an 83 percent increase in layoffs, Bartlett said.

The Washington County delegation's two Democratic lawmakers defended Glendening's speech.

"It was an opportunity for a governor who has done some important things for the state to stand back and talk about them," said Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington.

Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, said the governor simply was painting a picture of his administration.

"He felt in his heart that he was telling everybody here what is near and dear to his heart. Everybody's entitled to do that," Donoghue said.

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