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Annapolis Notes - March 12

March 11, 2012
  • From left, Del. Neil C. Parrott, Leslie Cochran, Marilee Kerns and Del. Andrew A. Serafini are shown in the Maryland House of Delegates on Thursday.
By Andrew Schotz

A kidney success story

Leslie Cochran and Marilee Kerns were saluted in the Maryland House of Delegates on Thursday as part of World Kidney Day.

While growing up, Kerns once offered to give her friend Cochran a kidney if she needed it, because of a history of kidney failure in Cochran’s family.

Later, Cochran needed a kidney and Kerns donated one of hers.

Del. Neil C. Parrott, R-Washington, shared that story on the House floor.

“I’d like to recognize the heroism of Marilee and the courage of Leslie to go through this hard time and to say that there is hope for kidney disease .... This is a really positive story for Washington County,” Parrott said.

Kerns briefly worked for Parrott as a part-time legislative aide.


School advocacy

Middle-schoolers from St. Mary Catholic School in Hagerstown were in Annapolis on Wednesday to meet Washington County’s state delegates and senators.

The students, along with volunteers Patti Jones and Maria Spinnler, were part of a Catholic schools lobbying effort for a proposed education credit.

Businesses could get a tax credit for donating to organizations that help public and nonpublic students and their families, according to a “talking points” sheet.

Businesses could claim an income-tax credit of 60 percent for contributions to student-assistance organizations, a maximum of $200,000 in each taxable year, according to the bill.

One sheet compared Maryland and three other states in funding for nonpublic education: $327 per student in New York, $911 per student in New Jersey, $953 per student in Pennsylvania and $40 per student in Maryland.



Still alive and kicking

Several arguments, pro and con, were offered Tuesday during a hearing on Sen. Ronald N. Young’s bill to eliminate the requirement for governments to buy local newspaper ads to publicize hearings or actions.

Young, D-Frederick/Washington, threw his own mortality into the mix as he alleged that news organizations object only because of the revenue they’d lose. He noted that newspapers are charging more for things that used to be free.

“I’ve been in office for a long time,” he said. “If I drop dead tomorrow, I’ll probably get a front-page obituary. But most everybody else pays for their obituaries today. ... It’s about money.”

Constituents need not worry. Young reported for Senate duty on Wednesday and Thursday, apparently hale and hearty.

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— Andrew Schotz

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