Reforestation bill enactedThe Senate enacted yesterday a...

CAPITAL MATTERS

April 06, 1991

Reforestation bill enacted

The Senate enacted yesterday a Schaefer administration proposal intended to slow the loss of trees and woodland in Maryland, concurring with House modifications the Senate sponsors felt made the bill weaker.

"We can certainly revise it in the future," said Sen. Gerald W. Winegrad, D-Anne Arundel, a chief sponsor of the bill. "It's a half-cup, not the full cup we were striving for."

The bill passed the Senate 43-4. The votes in opposition were cast by Sens. William H. Amoss, D-Harford, Walter M. Baker, D-Cecil, Frederick C. Malkus Jr., D-Dorchester, and Lewis R. Riley, R-Wicomico.

The legislation discourages developers from cutting down trees and, under some circumstances, requires that they plant trees on barren lots to compensate for trees they cut down.

Experts estimate that Maryland will lose 331,000 acres of forest by the year 2020, but the legislation approved yesterday should save about half that, Mr. Winegrad said.

Maryland primary election

The General Assembly agreed yesterday to set next year's presidential primary in Maryland on March 3, a week earlier than the "Super Tuesday" Southern states primary Maryland participated in three years ago.

By picking the March 3 date, the Democratic-controlled legislature hoped to hold the state primary on a day other states had ignored and early enough that the presidential candidates would not have been all but selected. The bill now goes to Gov. William Donald Schaefer for his signature.

But, according to the Democratic National Committee, at least three other states -- Colorado, Connecticut and Vermont -- have already chosen March 3 for their primaries, and two states -- Minnesota and Washington -- will hold party caucuses that day.

Many legislators disliked the experience in 1988 of holding a presidential primary in March because the General Assembly was in session, which made it difficult for them to campaign. Before 1988, Maryland's primary was in May. The change to March 3 was recommended by Democratic Party Chairman Nathan Landow.

Quote of the day

"I don't like to say that anything is dead, but it is unlikely to be enacted this session. We had hoped to achieve some real efficiencies and savings in government. Obviously, that will not be going anywhere."

David S. Iannucci,

Governor Schaefer's chief legislative officer, after the House of Delegates rejected a $42 million proposal to raise motor vehicle fees and refused to act on the governor's request for permission to reorganize his bureaucracy

Today

0&10 a.m.: House convenes, State House.

11 a.m. Senate convenes, State House.

House and Senate committees may hold hearings or voting sessions before, between or after floor sessions.

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

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