Legislators to introduce 8 bills from commissioners

January 28, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

ANNAPOLIS -- Carroll legislators voted yesterday to introduce in the General Assembly eight of 13 bills proposed by Carroll commissioners. They supported a right-to-farm law and a new class of liquor license.

In addition to rejecting a county women's commission, they voted not to introduce bills that would allow the county to deny access to some water and sewer lines, and allow liquor stores to be open the Sunday before Christmas and New Year's Day.

The delegation delayed voting on whether Orphans' Court judges should receive a raise next year.

The six-member Carroll delegation met for 1 1/2 hours in a conference room at the House office building to vote on the proposals. County commissioners must ask legislators to introduce bills because Carroll does not have home rule.

L The delegation voted to introduce the following legislation:

* Right to farm -- Carroll farmers want protection against lawsuits filed by suburban neighbors over smells, noise and other issues. The law would make farming a preferred activity in areas zoned )) for agriculture and conservation. It also would es

tablish a grievance committee to resolve controversy between farmers and their neighbors.

* Recycling -- Carroll must recycle 15 percent of its waste by the end of the year, and county officials want credit for used tires being burned as fuel at Lehigh Portland Cement Co. in Union Bridge.

Del. Lawrence A. LaMotte, a District 5B Democrat, said the bill would have statewide impact and that it should be studied further.

Del. Richard C. Matthews, a District 5A Republican, said members of the House Environmental Matters Committee, who would hear testimony on the issue, might be better qualified to judge the merits of the bill.

Mr. LaMotte and Del. Donald B. Elliott, a District 4B Republican, are members of the committee. Mr. Elliott said he supported the bill.

* School audits -- The commissioners want authority to audit the Board of Education's management practices. A similar bill failed last year in the House Ways and Means Committee.

* New liquor license -- The owners of Rudys' 2900, a restaurant in Finksburg on Route 140, asked for a new class of liquor license that would allow them to be open for only one meal a day.

Currently, restaurants with liquor licenses must be open for two meals a day on weekdays and one meal a day on weekends. Rudys' does not have a brisk lunch business, one of its owners said.

* Emergency lights -- County fire police have asked for the past several years for permission to use portable blinking red lights at emergency scenes. Maryland State Police have opposed the bill, Mr. Matthews said.

* Economic development -- The bill would allow the county commissioners to appoint at least nine of the 25 members of the Economic Development Commission. Current law says the commissioners must nominate members from a list provided by the EDC.

* Auctioneers' fee -- The bill would increase from $3 to $7.50 the fee paid to auctioneers handling Carroll tax sales.

* Dog licensing -- The bill would amend state law to allow county officials to issue licenses according to the calendar year, instead of the fiscal year.

RF In addition to rejecting the bill that would have created a county

Commission for Women, the delegation voted not to introduce the following proposals:

* Utility lines -- The county wanted to be able to deny access to a water main or sewer line if the line had been declared "limited access." Current law says the county must allow residents to hook up to lines if the lines pass their homes.

* Package goods stores -- Cranberry Liquors store owner Peter Samios asked that package good stores be allowed to open on the Sundays before Christmas and New Year's Day. Package goods stores in Carroll are not allowed to open on Sundays.

Sen. Charles H. Smelser, a District 4 Democrat, and Mr. Haines said the proposal was submitted too late to be debated at a public hearing last week. It should be submitted again next year, Mr. Haines said.

* Judges' salaries -- The delegation delayed voting on a request from Carroll's three Orphans' Court judges to increase their salary from $6,500 annually to $9,500.

The legislators suggested a raise to $8,000, but delayed voting because Mr. LaMotte already had left the meeting.

* Sheriff's employees -- The delegation agreed to delay action on a bill requested by Carroll Sheriff John H. Brown that would prevent the sheriff from dismissing without just cause an employee who had worked for the department 18 months or longer.

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