Smelser Wage Law Dies

Annapolis '92

March 04, 1992

ANNAPOLIS — The Senate Finance Committee dismissed by an 11-0 vote an attempt bya Carroll senator to repeal the state's prevailing wage law, which establishes minimum wages a contractor must pay employees on government projects.

Democratic Sen. Charles H. Smelser, who first attempted to repeal the statute in 1973, says the law forces the state to payartificially high wages, which raises government construction costs.

He advocated repealing the law to boost the economy, saying moneysaved by the state could have resulted in more project approvals andmore jobs. The purpose of the law, its supporters say, is to preventcontractors from submitting low bids to obtain government contracts,and then paying poor wages to employees.

MATTHEWS' DWI BILLS FALL

DATELINE: ANNAPOLIS

ANNAPOLIS -- The House Judiciary Committee has killed two bills sponsored by Carroll Republican Del. Richard C. Matthews that would have cracked down on drunken drivers.

This is the fourth straight year the committee killed both bills.

However, the bill that would have required the courts to impose an alcohol restriction on the drivers licenses of those convicted of a second or subsequent alcohol-related driving offense received more votes this year than ever before. The committee rejected it, 11-7.

The alcohol restriction -- which the Motor Vehicle Administration can now impose but sometimes doesn't -- prohibits drivers from driving with even a trace of alcohol in the blood and serves as a warning to police.

The committee voted, 18-3, against the other bill, which would have requiredthe courts to impose a mandatory $25 surcharge, in addition to regular penalties, on anyone convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense or granted probation before judgment.

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