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Governor vetoes all measures passed by Mooney

May 17, 2002|BY LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

After vetoing all legislation passed by Sen. Alex X. Mooney, Gov. Parris Glendening on Thursday signed into law five bills championed by Mooney's challenger.

Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, called the Democratic governor's action partisan.

"This is the problem with a one-party state. Unfortunately, the Glendening-Townsend Administration isn't interested in helping Western Maryland," he said.

Glendening spokeswoman Michelle Byrnie said veto decisions are made based on public policy.

In a written explanation, Glendening said one of Mooney's bills would have done the opposite of what he intended, which was to give National Guard members extra service credit for their Sept. 11 duty.

"Because of this lack of attention to detail, the bill as drafted and passed could cause National Guard members to actually lose military service credit, not gain additional service credit," Glendening wrote.

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For the second year in a row, Glendening vetoed another Mooney bill to extend the deadline for claiming tax refunds for cases that got tied up in administrative red tape.

The third Mooney bill vetoed by Glendening would have allowed Frederick County voters to take major zoning changes to referendum.

At his final bill signing ceremony on Thursday, Glendening signed five bills introduced by Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, who has filed to run for Mooney's seat.

One piece of legislation, which Hecht co-sponsored with Del. John P. Donoghue, will help two employees of the Washington County Family Center get credit for their time as contractual employees.

Department of Social Services Director David Engle thought he was being helpful two years ago when he had the two women transferred to Washington County government's payroll, giving them benefits they lacked as contractual employees.

But four months later, when the state converted hundreds of contract employees to state employees, the women lost a combined eight years of seniority.

The law signed by Glendening on Thursday will restore their seniority.

"We're lucky to have legislators who pay attention to individuals," Engle said.

Other Hecht bills signed Thursday will:

- Prevent inmates from re-using old "good time" credits on new offenses. The law was one of several passed in the aftermath of the murder of a 9-year-old Frederick, Md., boy who was killed by a repeat child sex offender.

- Designate Interstate 70 in Frederick County as the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway.

- Allow inherently low-emission vehicles to use the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane.

- Create a two-year grant program in Carroll and Frederick counties for forest stream buffers.

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