Most local bills are in the works

April 06, 2006|by TAMELA BAKER

ANNAPOLIS - One local bill is dead, one has been passed, but most are still working their way through the legislative system as the Maryland General Assembly heads into its final days for 2006.

It was a formality, perhaps, but the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday officially killed a bill forming a task force to study the potential for electing Washington County School Board members by district.

Committee members Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, and Del. LeRoy E. Myers, R-Washington/Allegany, voted against killing the bill, as did a Republican colleague, Del. David Boschert of Anne Arundel County.

Boschert said he opposed killing the measure because it was a local bill - legislators often extend "local courtesy" to delegation bills.


· A bill to allow the county to use a "certificate of guaranty" in place of bonds as a guarantee that a piece of infrastructure (such as roads or utilities) will be completed has been approved by both houses.

· A bill sponsored by Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, that establishes a special death benefit for members of the Correctional Officers' Retirement System who are killed in the line of duty won full approval by the House on Wednesday and awaits Gov. Robert Ehrlich's signature to become law.

The surviving spouse or minor children would get a one-time repayment of the accumulated contributions and an annual payment equal to two-thirds of the officer's average final salary.

· A bill co-sponsored by Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, that expands the Maryland Trauma Physicians Services Fund was heard Wednesday in the Senate Finance Committee, where committee Chairman Thomas Middleton has filed a companion bill.

All the county's bond bills have been funded in the state's capital budget, including:

- $400,000 for the Richard A. Henson Family YMCA in Hagerstown for a new 9,000-square-foot youth and family gymnasium with a youth wellness center

- $250,000 for the proposed stadium at North Hagerstown High School

- $100,000 for a third building at the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum near Sharpsburg

- $50,000 to upgrade the 1950 elevator at Discovery Station in Hagerstown

- $50,000 to replace exercise equipment for the Police Athletic League

· A bill to revise the county's excise tax on new development has been slowed by amendments. It has been approved in the House and is pending in the Senate.

Washington County Delegation Chairman Christopher B. Shank said Wednesday he doesn't believe any of the surviving local bills are in trouble.

The General Assembly ends at midnight Monday.

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