Elliott Urges No Vote

April 08, 1992

ANNAPOLIS — Carroll Republican Del. Donald B. Elliott pulled a rare maneuver on the House floor Monday night -- he asked his colleagues to vote against a bill he sponsored.

Elliott was dissatisfied with a conferencecommittee's proposal. The bill was intended to require social services agencies to expunge the records of those who are wrongly accused of abusing a vulnerable adult and whose cases are classified as "ruledout."

The House passed a version requiring the agencies to expunge records of investigations within three years if the suspect is cleared ofany abuse or neglect charges. The Senate changed the time frame to 120 days from receipt of a report, as Elliott's original bill intended.

Social service agencies currently expunge records after five years.

The conference committee compromised by recommending that the agencies inform the suspected abuser of the status of their case after 120 days. Under the proposal, the agencies could keep investigations on record for three years even if a report was never confirmed.

When the bill came up for a final vote, Elliott told the House that the compromise was unacceptable and destroyed the intention of the legislation. He then explained his reasons for sponsoring the bill.

"I got more out of killing the bill than winning it," said Elliott. "Igot the opportunity to do what I couldn't do before. I had the wholeHouse of Delegates assembled to hear the issue."

The House tabledthe bill instead of voting it down. Elliott pledged that he'd bring it back next year.

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