Advocates for poor rally for increase in state aid...

Assembly Digest

March 15, 2000|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Advocates for poor rally for increase in state aid program

About 100 people, including homeless men and women and their social workers, came to Annapolis yesterday to urge Gov. Parris N. Glendening to increase aid for 10,000 disabled adults.

Advocates for the poor have criticized Glendening for not increasing the $132 a month payment the state makes to disabled adults who are trying to qualify for federal benefits.

The governor says the state must direct its resources to other programs that help the poor get jobs.

Participants in yesterday's rally held up signs yesterday reading, "Governor -- Can you live on $132 a month?" and "Show some humanity to your disabled."

Curran wants bill to push banks to report exploitation

State Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. urged lawmakers yesterday to approve a bill aimed at encouraging bankers to report suspected financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.

Maryland law allows individuals to bring possible cases of exploitation of the elderly and the disabled to the attention of local social service departments.

The legislation backed by Curran and the Glendening administration would clarify that bankers may do so as well while receiving immunity for breaching confidentiality.

Officials argue that bank tellers may be the first to notice that someone is being exploited financially.

Delegates want to discard Office of State Prosecutor

A Montgomery County Democrat says he hopes his bill to eliminate the Office of State Prosecutor will "light a fire" in the office.

Del. Michael R. Gordon and his co-sponsor, Del. A. Wade Kach, a Baltimore County Republican, told the House Judiciary Committee that the office is an unnecessary holdover from the scandal-ridden 1970s. They also said its $866,000 budget could be spent in better ways.

State Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli, who has held the position for 15 years, said the need for his office is evident from the hundreds of complaints it has investigated in the last five years. He was supported by Kathleen S. Skullney, executive director of Common Cause.

She said eliminating the office would send a bad message to the public.

In Annapolis

Today's highlights:

Senate meets. 9 a.m. Senate chamber.

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

Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hears SB 211, to require new handguns to be equipped with "smart gun" safety features.

1 p.m. Senate office building, Room 300.

House Judiciary Committee hears HB 47, to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

1 p.m. House office building, Room 120.

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