Session Wraps Up

Annapolis '91

April 07, 1991

WESTMINSTER — The Carroll County Republican Central Committee will sponsor its annual Legislative Wrap-up Dinner April 11 at Friendly Farm Restaurant, Route 140.

The event features Republican members to the Maryland General Assembly who will report on accomplishments of the session.

The chairman of the Carroll delegation, Delegate Richard C. Matthews, will provide an overview of the session and its impact on countyresidents.

Sen. Larry E. Haines, R, Carroll, Baltimore County, will describe his experiences as a freshman senator. Delegate Donald B.Elliott, R, Carroll, will provide his perspective on issues affecting Carroll.

Tickets are $15 per person and must be purchased in advance.

Information: 239-3453.

WMC GRANT APPROVED

ANNAPOLIS -- The House and Senate have approved a $1.9 million grant for Western Maryland College for an expansion of the Lewis Hall of Science.

College officials told legislative committees that their science programs and research were being hampered because the facility, constructed in1914 and expanded in 1966, is outdated and lacks space for labs and classes.

WMC must match the grant. The project is estimated at $7.8 million.

Delegate Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll, sponsored the bill in the House. A legislative committee is working out differences between House and Senate proposals.

MONEY FOR MSP BARRACKS

ANNAPOLIS-- The state's proposed fiscal 1992 capital budget includes $150,000for the planning and design of an expansion for the Maryland State Police's Westminster barracks.

The project will provide additional space for administration, communications, garage and prisoner holdingand processing. The barracks on Route 140 were built in 1961 and haven't been expanded to accommodate a growing force.

Delegate Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll, who serves on the House budget subcommittee that included the appropriation, said he might request construction money next year. However, the project is not scheduled for construction in the state's five-year capital plan until fiscal 1996.

A conference committee is working out final details of the capital budget.

ABUSE REVISION PASSES

ANNAPOLIS -- People wrongly suspected of child abuse or neglect will have their names expunged promptly from social services agencies' records once the investigation is closed and the case is ruled out, under a bill sponsored by Delegate Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll, Howard.

The House and Senate each have passed the bill, which failed last year largely because of objections from the state Department of Human Resources.

The bill was prompted by severalCarroll families that had been investigated for suspicion of child abuse or abuse of another family relative. Although the Carroll Department of Social Services informed the suspects that the investigationshad been concluded and that they had been cleared of any wrongdoing,their names were to remain in a data bank for five years under DHR policy.

Proponents of the bill, Westminster residents David Hodge and Elliott Burgher, said their reputations were being tarnished and their liberties violated because their names remained on a list with other confirmed abusers.

Elliott's bill requires the agencies to expunge reports of suspected abuse or neglect within 120 days after thedate of referral if the report is "ruled out" and no further reportsare received during that period.

Elliott said he received a number of letters from people across the state who said they had been unable to eliminate their names from the data bank even though they had been informed that they had been cleared.

DHR added an amendment tothe bill allowing social service agencies to retain a "closing document" for ruled-out cases to show that required procedures were followed and an investigation took place. It would not contain case-specific information.

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