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$1 million enough to open school her

February 02, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan confirmed last week that $1 million will be enough to open the Hagerstown Education Center.

Kirwan had asked for $1.8 million toward start-up costs for the center, due to open in January 2005.

Earlier this month, Gov. Robert Ehrlich earmarked $1 million for the center in his proposed 2005 budget.

"I'm very pleased the governor made that investment," Kirwan said when asked about the money last week.

Now, the money will have to survive legislative budget cutting of the next 21/2 months.

Mooney ribbed about stolen car bill


ANNAPOLIS - Legislation sponsored by Sen. Alex X. Mooney has been dubbed the Dude Where's My Car Bill.

At the bill's hearing last week, Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, was trying to sell his Judicial Proceedings Committee colleagues on the merits of allowing public access to a statewide database of stolen cars.

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The database would allow citizens to help police find stolen cars, he said.

Committee Chairman Sen. Brian Frosh, D-Montgomery, teased Mooney about the proposal, calling it the Dude Where's My Car bill.

Other Democrats on the committee gave Mooney a hard time because the Department of Legislative Services put a price tag of $500,000 on the project.

They asked Mooney if he would support new taxes or fees to pay for the database.

He responded with an emphatic "no."

Representatives from the car rental and taxicab industries said they wouldn't mind paying a fee for the database because it would result in added savings if more stolen cars were returned.

Delegation concerned about next year's cuts


ANNAPOLIS - Washington County government will survive this year's round of state cuts, but next year all bets are off.

That was the message Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook delivered last week to lawmakers in charge of the budget.

"If it continues past this year, then we are going to have to make some serious decisions on cutting staff or services," Snook told the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

For the second year in a row, the state is cutting the local share of Highway User Revenues, which include gas taxes and vehicle registrations.

The cuts have wiped out the county's highway maintenance reserves, which will affect future road conditions, he said.

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