A Session of Cash, not Clash ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

April 16, 1993

Anne Arundel's legislative delegation went into the 1993 session with modest goals and came out a bigger winner than it expected.

Instead of the $3 million to $6 million in new state aid Anne Arundel usually gets, it ended up with close to $15 million. Local lawmakers set aside parochial interests and quietly pulled together for those projects the county needed most.

The delegation did particularly well with public school money. Besides $1.6 million to build a new Solley school, it got $2 million for much-needed school roofing, heating and air conditioning projects. That is money the county would have had to spend, but can now use for school construction. Anne Arundel also got the lion's share of money in the governor's supplemental budget to reward schools with high attendance rates: Of $15 million available to Maryland's 24 subdivisions, Anne Arundel walked away with $1.2 million.

Lawmakers won funding for an allied sciences building at the community college and land on Rowe Boulevard for a District Court.

Money matters aside, this was a quiet session for the delegation, except, of course, for Sen. Michael J. Wagner, D-Ferndale. As chairman of the Executive Nominations Committee, he was at the center of the storm over the John Arnick judgeship. What was expected to be the biggest controversy -- a showdown between County Executive Robert R. Neall and Sheriff Robert Pepersack, each of whom had filed bills to strengthen his hand against the other -- mercifully ended before it began, when the two compromised.

It was not an especially big year for local legislation. But a new liquor statute, sponsored by Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, D-Brooklyn Park, at last makes minors themselves subject to fines for breaking drinking laws. And two valuable statewide laws were ++ the work of local delegates: Annapolis Democrat John Astle's measure to prevent suspects from being freed on bail if they are LTC arrested for violent crimes while on probation or parole; and Mayo Republican Philip Bissett's bill giving crime victims the right to appeal when barred from attending trials.

It was a good session, productive and free of bickering. We hope Anne Arundel does as well next year, but, with elections hanging over lawmakers' heads, that may be a lot to ask.

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