Curran asks Assembly to separate gambling, tax cut 0...

ASSEMBLY DIGEST

February 01, 1997|By From staff reports

Curran asks Assembly to separate gambling, tax cut 0) legislation

State Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. has urged legislative leaders not to tie a proposal to legalize slot machines to an income tax cut bill, saying the gambling issue should be voted on "directly."

Curran said that although such a two-pronged approach might pass constitutional muster, it would be bad policy.

"It is too important a decision, with too many far-reaching ramifications for Marylanders to have its outcome influenced by any factors beyond its own merit," he said in a letter this week to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr.

Bill that would raise penalty for pot possession advances

The state Senate voted yesterday to increase the penalties for possession of marijuana, including an increase in the maximum sentence for a second offense from one year in prison to four.

The bill would also raise fines to $10,000 for a first offense and $25,000 for a second offense.

The Senate voted 24-20 to approve the bill, which it had rejected on a tie vote Monday night. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Larry E. Haines, a Carroll County Republican, now goes to the House of Delegates for consideration.

Officials oppose bill to dun lottery winners on welfare

Maryland lottery and welfare officials are opposing a bill that would require lottery-winning welfare recipients to use their prizes to reimburse the state.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. F. Vernon Boozer, a Baltimore County Republican, would require winners who received welfare the preceding decade to use up to half their jackpots to repay the state.

Lottery officials told the Senate Finance Committee this week they feared the measure would discourage welfare recipients from buying tickets. Welfare officials said they doubted such legislation would be legal. But Boozer predicted winning welfare recipients "would be happy to be able to pay some of it back."

Pub Date: 2/01/97

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