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Bills of local interest

March 29, 2009

Editor's note: This is a partial list of local bills and resolutions introduced in the Maryland General Assembly by Washington County lawmakers during the 2009 regular session. For more information, go to mlis.state.md.us and click on "Bill Information and Status."

Washington County delegation

HB 349 - Authorizes the Washington County Commissioners to designate Washington County Mental Health Authority Inc. as the mental health advisory committee for Washington County. Heard March 25. Passed in the House. Bill is in the Senate.

HB 350 - Increases the salary of the president of the Washington County Board of Education from $5,600 to $6,200 and increases the salary of members of the Washington County Board of Education from $5,500 to $6,100. Salary increases would not apply to incumbents. Heard Feb. 10. Second reading passed in the House with amendments.

HB 351 - Authorizes the Washington County liquor board to issue a Class "W" winery license, which would allow certain license holders to sell wine and other products on or off premises, and have appropriate furnishing to allow patrons to consume wine and food. Unfavorable report in Economic Matters.

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HB 361 - Establishes a police force for Hagerstown Community College, allowing members of the police force to make arrests. Passed in the House. Bill is in the Senate.

HB 625 - Authorizes the Washington County sheriff to assign special deputy sheriffs to duties in areas of the county other than the municipality where the special deputy sheriff is a member of the police force. Also authorizes the sheriff to deputize able-bodied citizens in an emergency. Heard Feb. 26. Passed in the House. Bill is in the Senate. Hearing scheduled April 1.

HB 642 - Establishes that the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Washington County is entitled to receive 3 percent of the amount collected for the tax applicable to specified instruments recorded with the clerk. Heard March 12.

HB 1184 - Authorizes Washington County Commissioners to allow those older than 65 to defer payment on their property taxes until after their death. Heard March 12.

HB 1218 - Prohibits a person from killing a dog found pursuing a deer in Washington County. Heard March 12. Second reading passed the House.

HB 1219 - Raises the Washington County sheriff's salary to $88,000 and requires Washington County Commissioners to set the sheriff's salary, instead of the General Assembly, beginning in 2012. Heard March 12. Passed in the House. Bill is in the Senate. Hearing scheduled April 1.

HB 1220 - Requires a master electrician to be responsible for work performed under the master electrician's license. Repeals several existing laws, including the requirement that those working under the authority of a master electrician's license must be employees of a master electrician. Hearing March 17. Passed by the House. Bill is in the Senate.

HB 1221 - Provides that under some circumstances, Washington County may cause a road to be surveyed, and a description and plat made of the road and recorded among the land records of the county. Authorizes Washington County Commissioners to construct county highways or roads under specified circumstances and requires the County Commissioners to accept certain roads into the county road system. Heard March 12. Passed by the House.

HB 1518 - Authorizes scholarships, grants or loans to be used at more institutions of higher education in the state. Heard March 24.

Sen. George C. Edwards, R-Garrett/Allegany/Washington

SB 293 - Requires application fees collected for the black bear hunting permit lottery to be used to reimburse people for damage to beehives, fruit, other crops, livestock or poultry caused by black bears under certain circumstances. Unfavorable report by Education, Health and Environmental Affairs. Withdrawn.

SB 295 - Prohibits a person from selling an alcoholic beverage with an alcohol content of 95 percent (190 proof) or more. Heard March 23. Passed in the Senate. Bill is in the House.

SB 448 - Repeals the requirement for the local superintendent of schools to file a biannual report on the school system's financial status. Heard March 11. Bill is in the Senate. Passed on second reading.

SB 583 - Repeals a provision that exempts someone from having to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a generating station that produces electricity from wind. Heard March 17.

SB 863 - Requires an employer or insurer to continue paying death benefits to those who were partially dependent at the time of the covered employee's death, or who were wholly dependent and became partially dependent. Heard Feb. 24.

Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington

SB 151 - Adds homeless people and groups as a protected class, making crimes against them hate crimes. Hearing March 31.

SB 315 - Establishes a task force to study the correlation between population size of middle and high schools and academic achievement. Heard Feb. 19.

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