House votes to keep vehicle emissions test on voluntary...

Assembly Digest

March 26, 1997|By From staff reports

House votes to keep vehicle emissions test on voluntary basis

The House of Delegates voted yesterday to keep the state's treadmill-like vehicle emissions test voluntary in defiance of a federal mandate.

The controversial test is scheduled to become mandatory June 1. Maryland stands to lose up to $98 million in transportation money if it fails to comply with the federal clean air requirement.

The bill to keep the test voluntary was approved by delegates, 76-56. The Senate has passed a similar measure, and final General Assembly approval is expected. Gov. Parris N. Glendening has not said whether he would veto the bill.

House committee approves increase in cigarette tax

A House committee approved a 15-cent-a-pack increase in cigarette taxes yesterday after adopting amendments directing where an expected $45 million in additional revenue would go.

Under the bill approved by the Ways and Means Committee, $20 million would be earmarked for drug and alcohol treatment and tobacco education, $5 million for crop conversion programs for tobacco farmers and the remainder for the state's general fund.

If the tax increase is approved by the full House, it would face a chilly reception in the Senate. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said yesterday that it would be "deceptive and hypocritical" to pass such an increase when the General Assembly is moving to cut income taxes.

Pub Date: 3/26/97

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