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Annapolis notes

Local incident spurs call for fast-lane bill

Local incident spurs call for fast-lane bill

February 24, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

A Western Maryland lawmaker used an incident of road rage near Hagerstown to push legislation last week to get slow drivers to move out of the fast lane.

Del. Kevin Kelly, D-Allegany/Garrett, said he was driving on Interstate 70 just west of Hagerstown two weeks ago when he got behind a driver going 5 mph under the speed limit in the fast lane. No one could pass for 16 miles, he said.

"It was cold weather but many, many people opened their windows to salute them," Kelly told the House of Delegates.

Kelly is sponsoring legislation to make it a misdemeanor to block the passing lane, he said.

The House gave the bill preliminary approval.




Cell phone crime bill dies in committee


Speaking of driving pet peeves, those who hate to see people talking on their cell phones while driving will be disappointed.

The House Environmental Matters Committee killed legislation that would have made it a crime.

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Del. John S. Arnick, D-Baltimore, has been trying to get the legislation passed since 1999.




Doctor says legislators not accessible to public


ANNAPOLIS - A Hagerstown doctor criticized the Washington County delegation last week for failing to be accessible to the public.

John Newby, the husband of recent state Senate candidate Mary Newby, said lawmakers were too busy to meet with him recently.

Newby made the comments during a meeting between lawmakers and business leaders in Annapolis. Newby noted that the members of Greater Hagerstown rented a bus and made the trip to Annapolis.

"Most of the electorate can't do that," he said. "I would think your job would be spending time with the electorate."

Washington County Delegation Chairman Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, said lawmakers communicate daily with citizens via phone, e-mail and letters.

"We're not in a vacuum down here. We are listening to constituents," he said.




Myers urges Taylor to pay recount bill


ANNAPOLIS - Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr. urged his opponent last week to pay for a November recount that failed to change the outcome of the election.

House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr.'s lawyer is challenging the $6,600 bill from the Washington County Board of Elections.

"I find it very hard to believe that these bills are still outstanding, irregardless of whether they're being questioned or not," said Myers, R-Allegany/Washington.

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