Health Department looks to state for aidGeneral Assembly...

LEGISLATIVE BRIEFS

February 12, 1993

Health Department looks to state for aid

General Assembly approval of the governor's proposed budget would mean more state money for local health departments in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Carroll County Health Department, which took a cut from $1.3 million to $646,000 in state support for general health programs during the current fiscal year, could see that figure return to $1.08 million for 1993-1994.

County Deputy Health Officer Larry Leitch reported yesterday the possible change in state support to the County Commissioners.

Hearings are scheduled on three mining bills

Carroll Del. Richard N. Dixon, a Democrat, has introduced three bills concerning surface mining that seek to protect citizens statewide from the effects of mining.

A hearing on the legislation is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday before the House Environmental Matters Committee in Annapolis.

The committee last year voted down similar legislation he had introduced.

Del. Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll, Howard, is co-sponsoring the legislation this year.

The bills are:

* House Bill 505 -- Surface Mining, Reclamation Standards and Performance Bonds.

The purpose is to alter reclamation standards for certain kinds of surface mining and change the maximum amount for certain performance bonds.

* House Bill 507 -- Surface Mining, Local Government Mineral Resources Plan Elements and Review.

The purpose is to require local governments to adopt plans that balance mining with other land uses, and to require the Department of Natural Resources to review local plans.

* House Bill 508 -- Surface Mining, Legislative Intent and Balance of Effects and Land Uses.

The purpose is to balance mining activities against potential health, safety and environmental effects, and to take steps to protect mineral resources from encroachment by other land uses.

2 Elliott bills are set for public hearings

Hearings are scheduled in Annapolis for two bills sponsored by Del. Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll, Howard. * House Bill 573 would require that all state residents share in the cost of cleaning Maryland's air, not just residents of counties where vehicle emissions tests are required.

A hearing is scheduled at 1 p.m. Tuesday before the House Environmental Matters Committee.

* House Bill 554 would require lowering the price of prescription drugs. The bill would require pharmaceutical companies to stop what Mr. Elliott, a pharmacist, called "price discrimination."

A hearing is scheduled at 1 p.m. Wednesday before the House Economic Matters Committee.

Four Matthews' bills on table in Annapolis

Carroll Del. Richard C. Matthews, a Republican, has introduced four bills scheduled for hearings.

* House Bill 533 would require a court to impose certain restrictions on a person convicted more than once of an alcohol-related driving offense. * House Bill 557 would prohibit plea bargaining in cases in which a defendant is charged with certain crimes, including arson and first-degree murder, if he was previously convicted of the same crime. * House Bill 646 would require a court to assess a fee to people convicted of certain alcohol-related driving offenses. The money would be used to buy breath-testing equipment.

* House Bill 667 would require the Administrative Office of the Courts to keep a list of certain criminal cases, including death penalty cases, in the Court of Appeals and state circuit and district courts.

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