Committee kills bill giving women right to nurse in...

Assembly Digest

March 10, 2001|By From staff reports

Committee kills bill giving women right to nurse in public

Legislation that would have guaranteed women the right to breast-feed in public was killed yesterday by a House of Delegates committee.

The action by the Environmental Matters Committee came just a day after a similar measure won unanimous approval in the full Senate. About half the states in the country have such laws.

The proposal was prompted in part by a Reisterstown woman who was asked not to breast-feed her child on a bench in a toy store. Health advocates supported the measure to encourage more women to breast-feed their infants until 12 months of age, following the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Senate panel approves charter school proposal

A Senate committee moved yesterday to encourage public charter schools in Maryland, approving a bill to give the authority to create such schools to local school boards and the state school board.

Charter schools are public schools run by groups or institutions with contracts giving them public funding as well as independence from some rules and regulations. Typically, they hire their own teachers and pick their own instructional programs, but their charters may not be renewed if student achievement doesn't improve.

The bill approved by the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee is similar to a bill waiting for a vote in a House committee. Though school districts technically have the authority to approve charter schools, state legislation is required to let charter schools apply for federal start-up funding.

Senator hints at blocking sexual predator proposals

A Senate chairman suggested yesterday that he will block proposals before his committee to keep sexual predators locked up after they have completed their prison terms, preferring to wait for results of a state study of the issue.

Sen. Walter M. Baker, who chairs the Judicial Proceedings Committee, said he believes legislators could better consider such proposals next year, after the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services completes a report this fall.

Baker made his comments as the committee killed a bill, sponsored by Sen. Norman R. Stone Jr., a Baltimore County Democrat, to place sexually violent predators under custody of the state health department until they're deemed safe to be at large. Similar measures are before the committee.

Commercial limits in schools move ahead

A stripped-down version of a proposal to limit commercialism in Maryland's public schools won narrow approval from a Senate committee yesterday.

The bill - sponsored by Sen. Paul G. Pinsky, a Prince George's Democrat - would require local school boards to adopt policies banning commercial advertising from school buses, prohibiting the sale of student information to private companies and restricting ads in classroom lessons.

The measure approved by a 6-4 vote in the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee would not ban exclusive vending machine contracts, but would still set restrictions on long-term deals and require school to more strictly limit the times when pupils may buy soda or candy.

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