Senator to reimburse state $600 for helicopter flight...

ASSEMBLY DIGEST

March 29, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Senator to reimburse state $600 for helicopter flight

Sen. John J. Hafer said yesterday that he will reimburse the state about $600 after being flown in a Maryland State Police helicopter from Annapolis to his home in Garrett County, which was destroyed in a fire Monday.

After the flight, Col. David B. Mitchell, the state police superintendent, reprimanded a lieutenant colonel for approving the helicopter ride for Hafer.

In a statement, Hafer thanked the state police and said he regretted that the supervisor had been reprimanded. "I feel it is appropriate to send financial reimbursement to the state for the cost," Hafer said.

Senate OKs program to encourage savings

The Senate approved legislation yesterday that would set up a five-year pilot program to encourage low-income Maryland families to save for post-secondary and vocational education expenses other than tuition, acquisition costs for a home and business capitalization.

The Individual Development Accounts would match $1 in savings with $2 in state money for up to 800 people with household incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level and with less than $5,000 in existing savings. The bill - sponsored by Sen. Christopher Van Hollen Jr., a Montgomery County Democrat, and approved 43-0 - would limit the state money to $1,000 annually per person for a maximum of three years.

The House unanimously approved March 18 a similar bill sponsored by Del. Howard P. Rawlings, a Baltimore Democrat. The two chambers need to resolve their differences, including a provision in the House legislation that permits the money to be used for post-secondary tuition.

House approves bill on statewide voting system

Maryland would move to a statewide voting system under a bill that cleared the House of Delegates yesterday.

The measure was proposed by a task force created in the wake of the presidential election and the problems in determining a winner in Florida.

Under the legislation, the state election board would pick a statewide system by next year's election.

Study on public financing of races clears House

A measure to study public financing of legislative races in Maryland was approved in the House of Delegates yesterday.

The move was a compromise after the Senate's rejection of a bill that would have used state money to pay for General Assembly races.

Under the bill, a 13-member group would study the issue and report back to the legislature by the end of the year. The study measure faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

In Annapolis

Today's highlights

10 a.m. Senate meets, Senate chamber.

11 a.m. House of Delegates meets, House chamber.

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