ANNAPOLIS — Carroll's pupil services director says it's just as well the Frederick and Carroll delegations withdrew a bill to create a pilot truancy program in both counties because suggested amendments would have diminished the legislation's intent.
The program would have authorizedlaw enforcement officials to issue citations to students if they believed the youths were unlawfully absent from school. The citation would have made students subject to civil fines and would have triggeredan intervention process involving schools and possibly the juvenile system.
"It got to the point where (the legislation) wasn't going to do the job it was intended to do," said Ed Davis, director of pupil services and special programs. "It seemed better not to pass it."
The House Constitutional and Administrative Law Committee recommended amending the bill to eliminate any financial or community service penaltyattached to the citation, said Davis. It also recommended that the bill not apply to students below a certain age. The original bill applied to all students under age 16.
Carroll education administratorshad volunteered to participate in the three-year trial program. The state Department of Educa
tion had sought participants. Police groups pushed the concept to MSDE and helped develop it.
EQUIPMENT BILL PASSED
ANNAPOLIS -- A bill sponsored by Carroll Republican Del. Donald B. Elliott that would require the state to reuse medical equipment it distributes to low-income people has passedthe Senate Finance Committee and is headed to the Senate floor.
Elliott's bill would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to recover durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkersand crutches, from Maryland Medical Assistance Program recipients. The agency currently has no mechanism established to recover the equipment and redistribute it to other clients.
The House already passed the bill, intended to save the state money in equipment purchases.
Under the bill, equipment that is not in proper condition to be reused by medical assistance recipients could be donated to non-profit organizations that would repair it and provide it at no charge to other needy people.