ANNAPOLIS -- The California car bill ran out of gas in Maryland today.
Sen. Walter M. Baker said he will not hold another vote on a bill that would require cars sold in Maryland to meet California's stringent tailpipe emission standards.
His decision effectively kills the legislation, which already has died once in his committee but will have to be considered again if the House of Delegates approves the bill.
"We don't need to do it this year," said Mr. Baker, a Cecil County Democrat.
However, the Schaefer administration, which had pushed for the California emissions as part of its legislative package this year, said it will not concede defeat until someone from the office speaks with Mr. Baker. "We've been trying to catch up with him for two days," said David S. Iannucci, the governor's chief lobbyist. "I still need to talk to him face to face. Or the governor may talk to him."
The Schaefer administration wanted the legislation to curb smog in the Baltimore and Washington, areas. Cars produced under California's low-emission vehicle program are 75 percent cleaner than cars sold in Maryland.
Mr. Baker said he would "consider" the House bill, but he wouldn't take another vote on the measure. "Once a bill gets out of my committee, I no longer have control over it," said Mr. Baker, who unsuccessfully tried to weaken the bill.