Legislators supporting Carroll MML's goals

December 06, 1993

Three state legislators from Carroll County have voiced support for the three major legislative goals for 1994 of the Carroll County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League.

At the chapter's annual holiday dinner Thursday, Republican Dels. Richard C. Matthews and Donald B. Elliott, and Democratic Del. Richard N. Dixon said they support the MML legislative program.

The Carroll MML is calling for a state constitutional amendment to prohibit the General Assembly from enacting unfunded mandates. Those are laws that require towns and cities to spend additional money but do not provide the money from state revenues.

Beefing up police services is another priority. The chapter wants the state to add a $10 surcharge to court costs of guilty parties. The money would be distributed among police departments throughout Maryland.

The league's third legislative priority is to clarify a gray area of state law: The question of when state law should be "implicitly" understood to take precedence over local law.

The issue arose recently when the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the municipalities of Bowie and Takoma Park may not enforce local laws governing cigarette sales from vending machines -- laws that are stricter than the state law.

League members want the General Assembly to spell out areas where state law is to pre-empt local law. In other areas, municipalities would be allowed to enact their own ordinances.

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