ANNAPOLIS — Carroll's only new General Assembly member celebrated his first day on the job Wednesday, as senior representatives routinely accepted their oaths for another four-year term.
About 80 family members, friends and well-wishers of Sen. Larry E. Haines, R-Carroll, Baltimore, journeyed to the State House to see the new senator sworn in at a noon ceremony, later adjourning to his office for a reception. Haines organized a bus trip from Westminster for supporters, many of whom watched from outside the Senate chamber on closed-circuit television.
The moment to celebrate election victories was fleeting for most of the Carroll delegates. Delegates Lawrence A. LaMotte, D-Carroll, Baltimore, and Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll, Howard, went directly from the ceremony to afternoon-long briefings in the House EnvironmentalMatters Committee.
Haines joined the Republican Caucus Tuesday tohear briefings on two of the governor's top issues -- proposals fromcommissions that studied the state's tax structure and growth management. He also attended a briefing Thursday sponsored by abortion opponents in the House and Senate.
LIQUOR BILLS QUESTIONED
ANNAPOLIS-- The Carroll delegation has dropped two of seven bills proposed bythe County Commissioners, and wants to satisfy concerns on two others before submitting them to the legislature.
At a Friday meeting, several delegates expressed concern about a liquor board request to create a new tavern license, which would allow establishments in Carroll to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption without having to meeta certain food-sales requirement.
"If they can be just watering holes with no food requirement, that doesn't go along with what we're doing down here, trying to crack down on drinking and drunk driving,"said Delegate Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll, Howard.
Delegates also questioned whether the board should be granted authority to increase license fees.
Both those liquor law bills have been placed on hold.
The delegates decided they would not introduce a bill requiring beer retailers in the county to pay their suppliers in cash. Several delegates objected to the proposal because it would interfere with private industry. A local beer distributor has requested the bill forthe last two years. The distributor says that competitive advantagescan be gained by granting special credit arrangements to retailers.
Previously, the delegation had dropped another request that would allow the commissioners to contribute money directly to non-profit organizations. The commissioners have the authority to contribute to the groups, but in most cases, money must be funneled through another agency's budget.