Annapolis notes

April 12, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

Md. House OKs office building for delegates

ANNAPOLIS - Maryland may be facing tough budget times, but that didn't stop members of the House of Delegates from voting themselves a new $32 million office building last week.House Republicans tried to move the money to school construction, but it was defeated by a vote of 47-82.

Democrat Del. John P. Donoghue was the only Washington County lawmaker to vote in favor of preserving the money, which Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich included in his fiscal 2005 budget.

The Senate got new digs a few years ago.

Weldon's cruise depends on keeping to schedule

ANNAPOLIS - Although there was a lot of talk about extending the Maryland General Assembly's legislative session because of the stalemate over slots and taxes, it looks like it will end on schedule at midnight tonight.

At least one local lawmaker is breathing a big sigh of relief.

Del. Richard Weldon, R-Frederick/Washington, had booked a 25th-anniversary cruise for he and his wife that is departing Thursday.


Fortunately, he bought insurance that would have covered the cost of the trip.

But there's no insurance against getting the cold shoulder from your spouse.

Democrats show support for Busch with T-shirts

ANNAPOLIS - In a show of solidarity for their leader last week, many House Democrats donned "Team Busch" T-shirts for the short walk from their offices across the street to the State House.

Local Del. John. P. Donoghue, D-Washington, was not one of them.

Although he enjoys a good relationship with House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Donoghue refused to back the speaker's $670 million tax proposal.

Mooney amendment may weaken hate crime bill

ANNAPOLIS - Sen. Alex X. Mooney, who has made a name for himself for opposing gay-rights legislation, found himself arguing the other side last week.

The Judicial Proceedings Committee was debating the merits of adding sexual orientation to the classes of people against whom a hate crime can be committed.

Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, offered an amendment to add transgendered people to the list.

Before you assume that Mooney has changed his stripes, consider that the amendment would have severely weakened the bill's chances for passage in the House.

Mooney bulks up, has to buy lunch

ANNAPOLIS - Sen. Alex X. Mooney's gain turned into a loss at the close of the 90-day legislative session.

Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, gained weight and lost a bet he had with three other members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

After a weigh-in last Monday, Mooney had to buy lunch for his colleagues.

Mooney declined to say how many pounds he packed on. He started the session at 235 pounds, which was 16 pounds more than last year.

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