Check's in the mailThe Linowes commission, Gov. William...

CAPITAL MATTERS

April 04, 1991

Check's in the mail

The Linowes commission, Gov. William Donald Schaefer's blue-ribbon tax panel, could have learned a thing or two about the appropriations process.

Yesterday, the state Board of Public Works belatedly approved a $495,000 contract to the Greater Washington Research Center, which supplied staff for the commission over the last three years.

The contract, which ran from October 1987 until the commission closed shop last month, should have been approved 3 1/2 years ago, Schaefer administration officials admit.

"The money was included in the budget three years ago, and it went through the normal appropriations process but for the last step," said Paul E. Schurick, Mr. Schaefer's press secretary. "It's a small though important matter."

The result of the commission's work, an $800 million tax-restructuring proposal, was put off for summer study by the legislature.

Bomb, arson penalties

Responding to an increase in bomb and arson threats, the General Assembly enacted legislation yesterday to increase the penalty for people caught making such threats to include a fine of up to $10,000.

Current law already makes such crimes punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years; the change would give courts the discretion to apply a fine, a prison sentence or both.

The measure was initially sought by the Washington County delegation after a sudden increase in such threats in that jurisdiction.

Cadavers for sale

The General Assembly voted yesterday to help neighboring Delaware solve an unusual problem -- a shortage of cadavers.

The University of Delaware is having trouble getting bodies for students in its gross anatomy courses, while Maryland has a small surplus of cadavers each year.

A bill sent to Governor Schaefer by the House of Delegates would allow the state anatomy board to sell surplus cadavers to Delaware.

"We'll take care of Maryland schools first," said Delegate Ronald A. Guns, D-Cecil, chairman of the Environmental Matters Committee.

Pension-salary reversal

A day after killing a bill that would have allowed retirees elected to county or municipal offices across the state to collect their pensions on top of their salaries, the House yesterday reversed itself.

The 86-36 vote came after Delegate James M. Harkins, R-Harford, said Tuesday's defeat of the bill would mean that Harford's new sheriff, Democrat Robert Comes, would not be able to collect his $12,500-a-year pension from 33 years' law enforcement work on top of his $52,000-a-year salary.

Quote of the day

"This means absolutely nothing as far as the problems the city has and that the mayor has."

Gov. William Donald Schaefer, referring to $9.8 million in additional aid for Baltimore

Today

10 a.m.: House and Senate convene, State House.

House and Senate committees will schedule hearings and voting sessions between floor sessions.

There are five days remaining in the 1991 General Assembly session.

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