Plan gives St. Mary's College more autonomy, less funding

March 07, 1992|By Annapolis Bureau

ANNAPOLIS -- Senate and House committees have approved a plan that would give St. Mary's College in Southern Maryland less state aid but greater autonomy.

Identical bills passed the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Constitutional and Administrative Law Committee yesterday. In addition, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee approved the plan.

Under the bill, part of Gov. William Donald Schaefer's legislative package, St. Mary's would receive a lump sum from the state, which would become part of the state's mandated budget. As a result, it would be shielded from the kind of budget cuts seen at jTC public campuses over the past year.

Within five years, the state's contribution to St. Mary's would fall from 49 percent to 41.3 percent of its total budget. St. Mary's would make up the difference by gradually increasing tuition, admitting more students and continuing its successful private fund raising.

In another educational matter, the Senate committees approved a bill continuing state operation of the New Community College of Baltimore but changing the name to the Baltimore City Community College.

Meanwhile, legislative committees took the following actions yesterday:

* The Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee approved a bill similar to the so-called "potty parity" bill approved by the House last month.

The House bill requires an equal number of men's and women's toilets when new public facilities are built.

The Senate bill, however, requires a ratio in which there could be more facilities for women than men. The ratio would be determined by the state Board of Plumbing.

* The House Constitutional and Administrative Law Committee killed, without discussion, two bills that would have limited the number of consecutive terms members of the General Assembly could serve.

The panel also killed a bill that would have cut the length of the annual General Assembly session in half, from 90 days to 45 days.

* The same House committee passed legislation that would reduce from 12 to five the number of free monthly directory assistance calls a residential telephone customer may make.

As drafted, the bill would have again reduced the number of free calls to two by 1994, but the committee killed that provision.

* The committee also killed -- with a fair amount of laughter -- a bill that would have made lacrosse the "state game." Earlier this session, the same panel killed an attempt to replace jousting with duckpin bowling as the official state sport.

* In one other action, the committee approved legislation that would require generic drugs to be prescribed in most workers' compensation cases.

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