Anne Arundel's legislative agenda

January 25, 1995

The success of John G. Gary, the candidate, depended upon his ability to rally the voters behind his conservative agenda last fall. The success of John G. Gary, the county executive, will depend, in part, upon his ability to rally the 18 men and women of the Anne Arundel County General Assembly delegation behind his ambitious legislative package.

In this session, Mr. Gary will be seeking not only funding for a number of capital projects, but also approval of fundamental changes in the powers of his office.

He will request about $27 million from the General Assembly to fulfill his campaign promise to build a detention center in Glen Burnie.

He also wants the legislature to change the law to give the executive, rather than the governor, the authority to appoint members of the county's school board.

He seeks money to reopen the Careers Center at Crownsville Hospital Center to educate troubled youths; $2 million in bonds to renovate the historic Wiley H. Bates High School in Annapolis, and funding for development of the long-stalled Superblock in Glen Burnie.

He also wants a constitutional amendment to give voters the right to petition to remove judges they consider too lenient.

Mr. Gary stands a good chance of seeing many of his initiatives succeed.

He has the advantage of a new Republican majority in the county's delegation. Many of the delegates are new and thus unlikely to have their own legislative initiatives to detract from Mr. Gary's program. Also, as a former legislator, Mr. Gary knows how to get things accomplished in the General Assembly.

His best chance is with the funding to start construction of the new detention center in Glen Burnie. Although delegates from the northern part of the county may try to block the money, it seems unlikely that the legislature will go against the wishes of the County Council, which favors the Glen Burnie location. The county's delegation is also likely to go along with funding for the Career Center.

Some of the other initiatives, especially Mr. Gary's effort to win authority to appoint school board members and the recall of judges, will be more difficult.

Mr. Gary will need to summon up all his political expertise if he is to fulfill his campaign promises.

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