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Myers says bill drew attention to VEIP woes

March 04, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - His bill got killed, but Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr. said Wednesday at least it drew attention to problems with the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program.

Myers wanted to delay initial emissions inspections for new cars in Maryland from two years to three years.

The House Environmental Matters Committee killed the bill on a 19-1 vote this week after Chairman Maggie McIntosh, D-Baltimore, made known her strong opposition.

One of the biggest strikes against the bill was that it would cost the state $2.2 million a year in lost inspection fees, she said.

"That's irresponsible. We can't be doing that kind of stuff this year," she said.

McIntosh said she believes the program is "quietly working."

At a hearing last month, Motor Vehicle Administration officials said only five in 1,000 new cars fail the test.

The state also is losing money because it pays a contractor a set fee, equivalent to $19 per car, to run the program. Drivers pay $14 for the test.

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"It shows there's been some mismanagement," Myers said.

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