ANNAPOLIS — As the General Assembly wrapped up its 1991 session, an anti-abortion amendment was passed Saturday, Sen. Larry E. Haines, R-Carroll, Baltimore, said yesterday.
The addition amends the abortion legislation passed earlier this year. It allows a hospital or a person to refuse to refer a patient to someone who will perform an abortion, exceptin a medical emergency, said Haines, who supported the amendment.
A coalition of anti-abortion groups is attempting to gather 33,000 signatures statewide by June 1 to suspend the state's new abortion law, scheduled to go into effect July 1.
If the signatures are gathered, a referendum on the law will be taken in November, he said.
About 45 county residents agreed to gather signatures at Saturday's anti-abortion rally.
SMELSER OPPOSES 65 MPH
Sen. Charles H. Smelser, D-Carroll, Frederick, Howard, was the only Carroll legislator to vote Monday against a bill to allow the State Highway Administration to raise the speed limit from 55 mph to 65 mph on certain rural interstate highways.
One of the roads that could be included in the pilot project is I-70, which runs through Howard County, just south of Mount Airy, and through Frederick County.
Proponents argued that the measure could save fuel and would more closely match the speed that motorists typically drive on rural stretches of highway, actually improving safety. Opponents said the increased speedlimits could result in more accidents and encourage motorists to drive even faster.
The amended bill passed the House, 105-21, where Carroll's four delegates voted for it, and the Senate, 34-12.
STUMP-DUMP BILL PASSES
The House and Senate passed an emergency bill introduced by Delegate Lawrence A. LaMotte, D-Carroll,Baltimore, intended to regulate the storage of recyclable materials.
The bill is aimed at a tree stump recycling operation on a farm in Granite, Baltimore County, less than a mile from the delegate's home. The stumps, which are buried underground and fill a ravine, caughtfire this winter. Firefighters were unable to put out the fire, which produced a smoky haze for miles.
"It's a stump-dump bill," LaMotte said of amendments that exclude many other types of recycling facilities from regulations to be developed by the Maryland Department ofthe Environment.
The "emergency" status allows the bill to be enacted as soon as it is signed by the governor, rather than the usual July 1 date.