Annapolis notes

March 28, 2005|by TAMELA BAKER

Never on a Sunday

ANNAPOLIS - File one bill notorious for its, well, originality, and nobody in the General Assembly will let you forget it.

Just ask Del. George Edwards, R-Garrett, author of the bear-in-every-county bill that died, predictably, in the House Environmental Matters Committee earlier this month.

But last week, a floor discussion on a local bill to allow Sunday wine sales at festivals in Garrett County, home of last year's controversial black bear hunt, drew the curiosity of Del. Charles Barkley, D-Montgomery, who asked, "Does this mean we can drink wine and hunt bears on Sunday?"

Edwards replied that it did not.

The reason?

"You can't hunt on Sunday," Edwards said.

Toward more picturesque speech

ANNAPOLIS - Every week during the General Assembly session, visitors flock to Annapolis to see their state governor in action. But sometimes it seems the lawmakers speak a completely different language from the rest of us. So to make translation easier, the Department of Legislative Services has compiled a small list of "legislative lingo."


Some of the more colorful entries include:

Blue Back - The original copy of a House bill, printed on blue paper.

Goldenrod - The next day's committee agenda in the Senate, printed on gold paper.

Green Bag - Proposed gubernatorial appointments, delivered to the Senate chamber in a green bag.

There also are some references to the animal kingdom. A "bobtail bill," if permitted, would alter the purpose of a bill by striking every word after "a bill," and a "snake" is a bill or provision that has a hidden purpose.

And last, but by no means least, "Crabtown" refers to Annapolis, especially this time of year. But lest the capital has any illusions about its status as Maryland's top town, readers are informed that the term "The City" officially refers to Baltimore.

No time to waste energy

ANNAPOLIS - It's not unusual for state legislators to lobby each other for support of favorite legislative proposals, but many are careful about picking their battles.

A case in point: Last week, Del. Carol Petzold, D-Montgomery, engaged in a corridor chat in the Lowe House Office Building with Del. LeRoy Myers, R-Washington/Allegany, about some environmental bills she liked - including one to convert soy for use in gasoline.

"We're running out of fuel " she began to explain.

"There's plenty up in Alaska," Myers offered.

Petzold retreated without another word.

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