No vet benefits cut
With the country still at war in the Persian Gulf, the Schaefer administration has decided to shelve proposals to limit job benefits for veterans.
"The bills were developed in the summertime when we were cleaning up the law," said Hilda E. Ford, secretary of the state Department of Personnel. "The situation has changed. I'm sure people will want to give them [veterans] more benefits."
Under the state's merit system, veterans receive preference when applying for state employment. One of the withdrawn bills would have rescinded employment preference on or after the 20th anniversary of a vet's departure from active military duty. The other would have allowed veterans to receive preference for a job only once.
While Ms. Ford said it is not certain whether servicemen and women who served in the gulf will receive veteran status, she said the state should be planning for the possibility of a lot "more veterans in the job market."
Three Prince George's County Democrats have filed suit to block Gov. William Donald Schaefer from appointing a nominee whom Prince George's County officials want to succeed former Democratic delegate Sylvania Woods.
The suit, brought as a class action by Ricardo Mitchell and two other Democrats, asks that Mr. Schaefer be barred from appointing Carolyn J.B. Howard "and independently appoint a person who is qualified to serve."
Backed by top black leaders of the county, Ricardo Mitchell alleged that the Prince George's Democratic Central Committee violated its bylaws by not holding a public roll call when voting last week to recommend Ms. Howard, not Mr. Mitchell, for the 24th legislative district seat vacated last month.
Press Secretary Paul Schurick said the governor would not act until the lawsuit was resolved.
By a 128-0 vote, the House of Delegates yesterday gave final approval to an emergency bill designed to shut down Body Talk, a controversial bring-your-own-booze striptease club in Rockdale.
The bill would restrict patrons from bringing and consuming alcoholic beverages in night clubs in Baltimore County. Such clubs would be required to have a special No-Sale Bring and Consumer Alcoholic Beverages Permit under the proposed law. Violators would be subject to a $1,000 fine for each day of illegal operation.
The bill now goes on to the Senate for approval. A similar Senate version of the legislation is scheduled for a hearing next month.
Looking for waste
Perturbed about complaints over wasteful government spending, Governor Schaefer said he wants to create a commission to uncover waste and abuse in state government.
"Now is the time to do it," the governor told reporters at an afternoon news briefing. "I would like all the people that are legislators and the people on the outside . . . to give me some ideas on this waste. You know, tell me where it is."
Press Secretary Paul C. Schurick said the commission is only in the early stages of discussion and the governor "has not developed a particular plan."
Legislation sponsored by Delegate John J. Bishop, R-Baltimore County, would create a similar commission on government efficiency but Governor Schaefer said yesterday he is not taking his cue from that proposal.
Quote of the day
"They said in '88, 'This is it. That's all we want to get rid of,' "
-- Delegate E. Farrell Maddox, D-Baltimore County, referring to the 1988 law establishing a board to control handguns in Maryland, as he anticipatedthe vote on this year's bill to ban automatic weapons.
10 a.m.: House and Senate convene, State House.
10 a.m.: Board of Public Works discusses school construction plans, State House.
1 p.m.: Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee considers changes to Vehicle Emissions Testing Program, Room 300, Senate Office Building.
1 p.m.: House Judiciary Committee considers bill involving testimony on "battered spouse syndrome," Room 120, House Office Building.
There are 40 days remaining in the 1991 General Assembly session.