Bill OK'd to let HMOs recoup money from injured clients...

Assembly Digest

April 09, 2000|By From staff reports

Bill OK'd to let HMOs recoup money from injured clients' suits

The General Assembly gave final approval yesterday to a bill that would allow health-maintenance organizations to claim money from members hurt in accidents if they later receive settlements from lawsuits filed over their injuries.

The House of Delegates voted 95-30 for the bill, which was pushed by legislative leaders to negate a Court of Appeals ruling last month. The ruling could force HMOs to refund millions of dollars to their members.

The bill goes to the governor for his consideration.

Final approval granted to bill on state pay raises

Legislation allowing the governor to grant pay raises to several hundred top state employees without going before the Board of Public Works received final General Assembly approval yesterday.

The board, made up of the governor, comptroller and treasurer, currently must approve such pay increases.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening sought the legislation after difficulty winning pay raises for some of his top appointees in the last year. Treasurer Richard N. Dixon had strongly opposed the change in policy, but the measure passed the Senate unanimously yesterday.

Long-term care insurance tax credit approved

The General Assembly gave final approval yesterday to a bill that would give families a one-time $500 income tax credit to help them pay for long-term care insurance.

The bill, which goes to the governor for his consideration, would cost the state an estimated $3 million in lost income tax revenues, according to legislative analysts.

The measure would allow a tax credit of as much as $500 against the cost of premiums for long-term care insurance -- but only for one year.

New racial profiling bill gets preliminary OK in Senate

The Senate gave preliminary approval yesterday to a watered-down bill addressing racial profiling, but a top legislator predicted the legislation will be significantly strengthened before the General Assembly adjourns tomorrow.

The bill calls for a task force to study race-based traffic stops. House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. said he believes a House committee will amend it to require police agencies to keep detailed records of stops.

Legislation proposed by Baltimore Del. Howard P. Rawlings had included such a requirement but it was killed by a Senate committee as part of a feud between Rawlings and other African-American lawmakers.

`Brownfields' cleanup bill wins final approval

A bill that will make it easier to redevelop "brownfields," or potentially polluted industrial land, won final passage in the General Assembly yesterday.

The legislation is a victory for Baltimore and state economic development officials, who said the state's 3-year-old brownfields law needed to be liberalized so more industrial sites can be cleaned up. Environmentalists, in return for their support, extracted a pledge from the state to enforce pollution laws more aggressively.

The measure goes to the governor for his expected signature.

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