Senate approves bill banning some dredges in grass beds 0...

ASSEMBLY DIGEST

March 20, 1998|By From staff reports

Senate approves bill banning some dredges in grass beds 0) of bays

Moving to protect environmentally sensitive areas, the Senate unanimously approved legislation yesterday that would ban clammers from using hydraulic dredges in grass beds under Maryland bays.

The measure has the support of environmentalists and watermen. It goes to the House of Delegates, where approval is expected.

The bill would ban hydraulic dredging in grass beds in the Chesapeake and Maryland's coastal bays.

Senate clears measure on pardon notification

A bill to require the governor to more widely publicize plans to pardon or commute a convict's sentence cleared the Senate yesterday.

The measure was prompted by a 1995 case in which then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer reduced the double-life sentence of Scott Fleming Caldwell, who had been convicted of two murders 23 years earlier in Caroline County. Officials in the county were unaware of the governor's action and learned of it later when Caldwell unsuccessfully sought parole.

The legislation would require the governor to publicize any commutations or pardons in a newspaper in the area where the crime was committed. It goes to the House of Delegates.

House defeats amendment excluding abortion services

The House of Delegates defeated a measure yesterday that would have excluded abortion services from the governor's proposed health insurance program for the working poor.

Delegates voted 71-63 to reject the anti-abortion amendment offered by Del. Robert L. Flanagan, a Howard County Republican. The House then gave preliminary approval to the plan to provide health coverage for 60,000 children, teen-agers and pregnant women.

The Senate has approved a different version of the health plan. The differences are expected to be resolved by a conference committee.

House panel kills bill to end helmet law for adult riders

A House committee killed a bill yesterday that would have scrapped the state law requiring all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, ending Del. George W. Owings III's unorthodox crusade for the legislation.

The measure failed on an 11-11 tie in the Commerce and Government Matters Committee three days after Owings, a Calvert County Democrat, rode a purple Harley-Davidson into the hearing room to use it as a prop.

Groups representing motorcycle enthusiasts have been pressing for an end to the safety law since it was adopted six years ago. Owings' bill would have repealed the requirement for adults while retaining it for minors.

Pub Date: 3/20/98

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