Senate-approved bill would allow tax on tape, game...

Assembly Digest

March 15, 1997|By From staff reports

Senate-approved bill would allow tax on tape, game rentals

The state Senate approved a bill yesterday that would allow Baltimore and other Maryland cities to impose a 5 percent amusement tax on videotape and game cartridge rentals. The vote was 27-19.

The bill is enabling legislation, which means that city governments would have to pass their own law before the tax could be levied. Baltimore and at least two other cities are interested in using the tax.

The state legislation still must pass the House of Delegates and be signed by the governor to become law.

House committee kills gangsta rap proposal

The House Appropriations Committee killed a bill yesterday that would have forced the state to divest pension funds from companies that produce music that advocates or glamorizes acts of sexual assault and other violence.

While the bill was aimed at gangsta rap, critics said it was vague and unworkable.

The committee has instead included language in the state budget instructing the state pension board to discuss the issue with various record publishing companies and report back to the General Assembly in the fall.

Senate OKs bill to enable retailers to sell older milk

The state Senate voted 37-9 yesterday in favor of a bill that would allow retailers to sell older milk.

Under the bill, a milk plant could set "sell-by" dates for up to 21 days -- seven more than current law allows -- as long as the state health secretary approved the plant's proposal to do so.

The measure was the result of a task force study of Maryland's dairy industry and is designed to increase revenue for milk producers. It goes to the House of Delegates.

Legislation would require tests for welfare applicants

The state Senate approved a bill yesterday that would require welfare applicants to go through health screenings and, if suspected of abusing drugs, to submit to drug testing.

The bill, approved 42-2 and sent to the House of Delegates, also would deny benefits to parents who refused to have the screenings or drug tests. Money for their children could be paid to a third party.

Advocates for the poor criticized the measure, saying the $10 million it would earmark for drug treatment was insufficient.

Pub Date: 3/15/97

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