Annapolis Notes - Feb. 21

February 20, 2011
  • Marjorie Kellman, Washington County's 2011 Teacher of the Year, poses with Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., left, and Del. Andrew A. Serafini.
Submitted photo

Too broke for zap-busting

When Washington County groups visit their representatives in Annapolis, they usually meet in the county delegation’s meeting room.

A gathering last week, though, required extra space. About 30 people traveling with the Washington County lobbying coalition were in town, along with about 30 people in the Leadership Washington County program.

They and the Washington County delegation sat together in the more spacious Baltimore City delegation room.

The room was plenty big enough, but it came with one persistent annoyance: a loud, frequent, sizzly noise.

As Brien J. Poffenberger, the president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, briefed lawmakers on the coalition’s list of legislative priorities, the zaps became tough to ignore.

“What is that crackling noise?” he asked.

A few lawmakers suggested it was a lighting problem or a smoke-detector malfunction.

“A bug zapper?” Poffenberger wondered, as the crowd laughed.

“No one’s been electrocuted,” Sen. Christopher B. Shank said.

“Maybe we should put fixing that on the agenda,” Poffenberger suggested.

“We don’t have the money,” Del. Andrew A. Serafini quipped.

A top teacher

Some of Maryland’s best teachers were recognized in Annapolis last week.

On Wednesday, each county’s Teacher of the Year was introduced and applauded — first in the House, then the Senate.

Washington County was represented by Marjorie Kellman, who teaches health occupations at Washington County Technical High School.

Moving ahead

Of the nearly 2,200 bills pending in the Maryland General Assembly — including many duplicate versions in the House and Senate — about 60 have been filed by members of the Washington County delegation (excluding bills that don’t apply to Washington County).

A bill sponsored by Sen. George C. Edwards, R-Garrett/Allegany/Washington, has progressed the furthest as the 90-day General Assembly session nears its halfway point.

Edwards said his bill would help cut bureaucracy and expense for Somerset Rural Electric, a small electricity cooperative serving part of Garrett County, Md.

A second small cooperative that serves Somerset County, Md., also is included in the bill.

Edwards said the cost for those cooperatives to go through a currently required rate-relief process would be more expensive than the supposed benefit of that process.

Edwards’ bill passed the Senate with minor amendments 46-0 on Thursday — the first bill by a local lawmaker to pass either chamber.

— Andrew Schotz,

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