House OKs bill ending race-based traffic stops by police...

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April 06, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

House OKs bill ending race-based traffic stops by police

Police departments across Maryland will have to adopt policies prohibiting race-based traffic stops under legislation given final approval yesterday by the House of Delegates and sent to Gov. Parris N. Glendening for his signature.

The bill to prevent racial profiling, approved 132-4, also requires officers to fill out forms detailing whom they stopped and why.

The state's black legislators declared the bill's passage a priority this year, and Glendening made it part of his legislative agenda.

Gun safety education gets go-ahead from House

The House approved yesterday a compromise bill on gun safety education that would make Maryland the first state to require schools to teach children from kindergarten through 12th grade about firearms.

School systems would have teaching options, including the "Eddie Eagle" gun safety program devised by the National Rifle Association and a program developed by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence.

Minor differences with the Senate version of the legislation must be resolved. "This has been a roller coaster," said John Price of Carroll County, whose 13-year-old son was accidentally killed by a 9-year-old boy playing with a handgun in 1998.

Raising registration fees for vehicles has green light

The House of Delegates gave final approval yesterday to a bill requiring Marylanders to pay more to register their vehicles to help fund the state's emergency medical system.

If the legislation is signed by the governor as expected, motorists will pay $76 every two years to register their cars, up from $70. The money will help pay for helicopter service, paramedics and other emergency services.

The House passed the bill 117-21.

Collective bargaining bill withstands filibuster

The Senate gave its approval yesterday to Gov. Parris N. Glendening's proposal to extend collective bargaining rights to employees at Maryland's public colleges and universities.

The bill now moves to the House of Delegates, where it is expected to receive final approval. The House has approved similar collective bargaining legislation in the past.

The Senate voted 30-14 after more than 3 1/2 hours of debate, including an almost two-hour filibuster during which a pair of Republican senators read aloud past reports on Maryland higher education.

Senate gives approval to Office of Smart Growth

A bill to create a Maryland Office of Smart Growth won final approval yesterday from the Senate, permitting the governor to name a special secretary of Smart Growth.

The office is to coordinate the Glendening administration's effort to combat suburban sprawl and revitalize older urban neighborhoods.

The legislation, approved 35-11, also will establish a Smart Growth subcabinet that will include the heads of several other executive departments.

Calico is on verge of becoming state cat

Maryland has 18 state symbols, including six representing animal life. But the state hasn't had a state cat.

That's about to change.

Thanks partly to the "lobbying" of a group of girls from Westernport Elementary School in Allegany County - they came to the State House bearing campaign-style buttons and a nervous mascot named Maggie - the Senate gave final approval last night to a bill designating the calico as the state cat. The girls said they picked the calico because its colors are similar to those in the Maryland flag.

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