Senate panel kills measure to create tourism department...

ASSEMBLY DIGEST

April 05, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Senate panel kills measure to create tourism department

The Senate Finance Committee killed a bill yesterday that would have created a Department of Tourism to promote attractions in Maryland.

The legislation -- which won overwhelmingly approval in the House of Delegates last month -- was sponsored by Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., who had made it one of his top goals for the session.

The measure would have combined units of the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Business and Economic Development to form the state's 19th Cabinet-level agency, and it would have required increases in spending to encourage tourism. The bill would not have affected the Glendening administration, which opposed it, but would have required the governor elected next year to set up such a department.

Senate OKs removing word `handicapped' from laws

The Senate unanimously gave final approval yesterday to legislation to erase the phrase "handicapped persons" from Maryland's law books.

Advocates for the disabled say "handicapped" is an outdated and demeaning word. If the bill is signed into law by the governor as expected, references in the Annotated Code of Maryland will be changed to "individual with a disability."

The bill, sponsored by Del. John R. Leopold, an Anne Arundel County Republican, was unanimously approved by the House of Delegates last month.

Senate approves bill on blocking phone numbers

The Senate unanimously gave final approval yesterday to legislation to prohibit telephone solicitors from blocking their phone numbers to Marylanders with caller identification services.

If signed by the governor as expected, the measure would apply to telephone solicitors looking to sell goods and services as well as those conducting polls and surveys. Violators could face a $1,000 fine on the first offense and $5,000 fines for subsequent offenses.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Elizabeth Bobo, a Howard County Democrat, was unanimously approved by the House last month.

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