Battered women bill
A Senate committee approved legislation yesterday that would allow courts to admit evidence of spousal abuse and permit expert testimony on "battered spouse syndrome."
zTC The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee approved the bill on a 9-2 vote with Sens. Frederick C. Malkus Jr., D-Dorchester, and Walter M. Baker, D-Cecil, the committee's chairman, opposing.
A House version of the bill has been amended by the House Judiciary Committee and awaits full House approval.
Gov. William Donald Schaefer has endorsed the House version of the bill. He announced that endorsement last month when he commuted the prison terms for eight battered women convicted of murdering or assaulting their husbands or boyfriends.
PAC limit gains
A $4,000 contribution limit would be set on political action committees in legislative races under one of two campaign finance reform bills passed yesterday by the Senate Committee on Economic and Environmental Matters.
Since the House Committee on Constitutional and Administrative Law passed an identical $4,000 PAC limit bill earlier this week, the measure appears headed for passage. A limit of $8,000 would apply in statewide campaigns under these bills. Current law does not limit PAC contributions.
The Senate committee also followed the House in passing a bill which attempts to limit the role of lobbyists in fund raising. At the same time, the Senate stripped out language requiring stricter reporting of money spent in entertainment of legislators by lobbyists.
Phil Andrews, director of Common Cause in Maryland, said the bills were "good overall." He said the limits on contributions are realistic.
Slots in Harford
Despite the threat of a Schaefer veto, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee approved a bill yesterday that would legalize slot machines in Harford County.
Only two senators, Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, and Howard A. Denis, R-Montgomery, voted against the legislation, which would permit fraternal, religious or veterans groups to own and operate slot machines for a $150 licensing fee.
Governor Schaefer has stated that he will veto any legislation that would expand the use of slot machines.
Quote of the day
"There will be 900,000 more Marylanders in the next 30 years. They will have to live somewhere. The question is: Do we allow growth to go on unchecked or do we channel it?"
% -- David S. Iannucci,
Governor Schaefer's chief
legislative aide, after
the 2020 land-use bill
was killed in committee
10 a.m.: Senate convenes, Senate Chamber.
11 a.m.: House convenes, House Chamber.
1 p.m.: Senate Budget and Taxation Committee considers capital projects, Room 100, Senate Office Building.
1 p.m.: House Judiciary Committee holds hearing on a bill that would transfer control of the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to the Division of Correction within the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
There are 25 days remaining in the 1991 General Assembly session.