Cabinet-level position for veterans affairs wins final...

Assembly Digest

April 07, 1999|By From staff reports

Cabinet-level position for veterans affairs wins final approval

The General Assembly gave final approval yesterday to legislation that would create a state Cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs.

The measure, which was proposed by Gov. Parris N. Glendening, goes to him for his signature. It would merge state programs for veterans into a single agency, a response to complaints that veterans seeking services are frequently bounced among different offices.

The move would bring Maryland's practice in line with that of the federal government, which centralized its veterans programs under a Cabinet department. The new Maryland department would cost state taxpayers about $84,000 next year, according to legislative analysts.

Assisted suicide ban headed for vote in Senate

A proposal to ban assisted suicide in Maryland could face its final vote in the state Senate today.

The House of Delegates has approved the legislation. If the Senate passes the bill, Gov. Parris N. Glendening is expected to sign it into law.

The ban would make assisting or attempting to assist a suicide a felony, punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Homebuilders registration rejected for 1999 session

Legislation to require statewide registration for homebuilders has died in the General Assembly this year after being fought hard by builders.

The bill, which supporters said would help protect buyers of new homes from unscrupulous builders, is languishing in a House committee and has been killed in the Senate Finance Committee, where senators said it would be the topic of study this summer.

The bill would have given consumers a central place to lodge complaints and given a state agency the power to suspend or revoke builders' registrations.

Bill limiting abortions moves to House floor

A ban on a late-term abortion procedure narrowly passed the House Environmental Matters Committee yesterday, setting the stage for an emotional debate on the House floor.

The bill to prohibit what critics call "partial-birth abortion" passed the Senate late last month by a 25-22 vote, and a close vote is expected in the House.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening has said he would veto the bill because it does not include an exception allowing the procedure to protect the health of the mother.

In Annapolis

Highlights in Annapolis today:

House of Delegates meets. 10 a.m. House chamber.

Senate meets. 10 a.m. Senate chamber.

Pub Date: 4/07/99

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