The Governor's Proposals

January 14, 1994

Gov. William Donald Schaefer outlined his legislative agenda for this year -- his final year as governor -- during yesterday's State of the State address. Here are highlights of what he is proposing:

GUN CONTROL

Limit purchases of many firearms to one per month per person, similar to Virginia law. A ban on the sale or transfer of 18 types of military-style assault pistols and of ammunition magazines holding more than 20 rounds. Increase penalties for the illegal sale or transfer of regulated firearms.

CIGARETTES

A 25-cent increase in the cigarette tax, to 61 cents per pack, giving the state the second highest tax in the country. Tax would raise an estimated $70 million to be used for a variety of popular programs not otherwise funded in the governor's budget. Increased fines for selling cigarettes to minors. Permit local jurisdictions to impose tougher measures.

DEATH PENALTY

Change method of execution from gas chamber to lethal injection. Streamline the appeals process by reducing the length of time for filing post-conviction petitions and permitting condemned individuals to waive the period for post-conviction review.

WELFARE REFORM

A pilot program for Baltimore City, Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties would require recipients to look for work and participate in job training programs. Those who can't find a job after 18 months would have to perform community service or other work. Once on welfare, no extra benefits for additional children. Federal waivers required before program could be implemented.

NEEDLE EXCHANGE/AIDS PREVENTION

Baltimore City would be permitted to undertake a needle exchange program for intravenous drug users. Add HIV infection to the list of reportable communicable conditions, meaning the names of people with the AIDS virus would be reported to the state health department.

INCOME TAX

As an economic development measure, the 6 percent tax bracket for individuals making $100,000 or more taxable income, or couples making $150,000 or more taxable income, will be allowed to lapse as scheduled at the end of the year.

ALCOHOL/DRUNK DRIVING

Suspend the license of drivers under 21 who commit alcohol-related driving offenses. Broaden the type of alcohol-related offenses triggering license suspension.

DNA DATA BANK

Establish a DNA data base to help solve sex offense cases. DNA samples to be taken from convicted sex offenders as part of sentencing or as a condition of release from supervision.

YEAR-ROUND SCHOOLS

Amend state law to allow year-round schools. Five incentive grants of $100,000 each would be given to selected school systems wishing to undertake pilot year-round school programs.

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