g:Bill would require payment for experimental treatmentThe...

Assembly Digest

March 14, 1998|By From staff reports

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Bill would require payment for experimental treatment

The House of Delegates passed a bill yesterday that would require health insurers to pay for experimental treatments offered by researchers conducting clinical trials.

The measure was approved 132-4. The Senate has passed a nearly identical bill, virtually assuring that the legislation will win final approval and be sent to the governor for his signature.

The legislation, important to patients with life-threatening illnesses, also is a top priority of Maryland's research hospitals, especially Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland Medical Center. Both stand to gain because the bill would assure more stable funding for their research.

Governor expected to offer $1.7 million for arts complex

Gov. Parris N. Glendening is expected to announce Monday that he is proposing $1.7 million in state spending to begin planning a $60 million performing arts complex in Rockville that has been billed as a "second home" for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

If the General Assembly approves the project at historic Strathmore Hall, the state's share is expected to total nearly $30 million by the time it is completed.

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan said the county will match the money Glendening will propose for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Duncan said the performing arts center will "fill a void" in Maryland's most populous county.

4 senators sponsoring bill to ban late-term abortions

Rural senators who helped kill an abortion bill three weeks ago will try to bring the emotional issue back before the Senate next week.

The four senators plan to introduce a bill they say would ban a controversial late-term abortion procedure but would not violate a woman's constitutional rights. All four voted to send the first abortion bill back to the Judicial Proceedings Committee because, they said, it was unclear and could have been unconstitutional.

The new bill faces an uphill fight. Because the deadline for submitting new bills has passed, two-thirds of the Senate would have to agree to suspend the rules to allow it to be introduced.

Senate bills would tighten liquor license regulations

The Maryland Senate approved yesterday a package of bills designed to tighten Baltimore's regulation of liquor licenses.

One measure would give the city liquor board authority to regulate strip clubs on The Block. The bars are regulated by the Housing Department, which has been criticized for its lax enforcement of prostitution laws, obscene stage acts and other violations of rules enacted in 1994.

Other bills would lead to the appointment of two alternate board members and raise the fees for beer festivals and the sale and transfer of liquor licenses. The bills now go to the House of Delegates.

Panel backs governor's right to outline legislative districts

A Senate committee killed a bill yesterday that would have taken away much of the governor's power to outline the state's 47 legislative districts.

The Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee rejected the proposal by Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat.

Under current law, the governor proposes a legislative district map that goes into effect if the General Assembly doesn't change it within 45 days. Frosh's measure would have given the Assembly the power to enact the redistricting plan on its own, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

Pub Date: 3/14/98

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