In Maryland 2 lawsuits challenge governor's Assembly...

REGIONAL DIGEST

February 26, 2002|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Maryland

2 lawsuits challenge governor's Assembly redistricting plan

ANNAPOLIS - Two lawsuits challenging Gov. Parris N. Glendening's General Assembly redistricting plan were filed yesterday, the first business day since the governor's map became law.

Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry and six other registered voters filed a petition with the Maryland Court of Appeals, arguing that the map denies minorities fair representation. Sen. Clarence M. Mitchell IV, a Baltimore Democrat, filed suit in U.S. District Court making similar allegations. Mitchell's district has been merged with that of another city senator.

Ruppersberger panel to eye run for Congress

ESSEX - Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger says he is forming an exploratory committee to look into a possible run for Congress.

Ruppersberger told supporters Friday that he planned to form the exploratory committee for the 2nd District congressional seat.

Asked to elaborate yesterday in Essex, he said his decision won't be affected by whether incumbent Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, runs. "Who wins is determined after the race," said Ruppersberger, a Democrat. "That's the way I've always looked at it."

Property tax assessment bill gets OK from Senate

ANNAPOLIS - The state Senate unanimously approved a bill last night aimed at stopping Montgomery County from trying to increase the property taxes of homes bought in the middle of three-year assessment cycles.

To increase revenues, Montgomery has been trying to immediately reassess homes that are bought for more than $150,000 above the state's current assessment for those properties. Homes are usually reassessed every three years, and the resulting tax increases are then phased in.

The legislation approved last night would prohibit local governments from appealing the state's assessments in the middle of the three-year cycles. An identical bill is scheduled for a hearing March 12 in the House Ways and Means Committee.

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