Deadline March 18 to challenge changes proposed for...

ASSEMBLY DIGEST

March 02, 2002|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Deadline March 18 to challenge changes proposed for districts

Voters and lawmakers unhappy with Gov. Parris N. Glendening's General Assembly redistricting plan have until March 18 to file petitions challenging the new map, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled yesterday.

The court will hear all redistricting lawsuits filed in lower state courts. The Court of Appeals said its first hearing will be April 11. It extended the deadline for candidates to establish residence in new districts for November's election from May 5 to July 1.

At least two state lawsuits and one federal lawsuit have been filed seeking to change the map, which took effect Feb. 22. More lawsuits are expected.

Senate unanimously denies pay raise for state judges

The Senate voted unanimously yesterday to reject a 5 percent salary increase that had been proposed for state judges.

Senators said the raises - proposed by an independent compensation commission - could not be approved this year because of the state's tight budget situation. Judges will still be eligible for any cost-of-living increase given to state employees next year.

The House of Delegates also is expected to reject the judicial raises.

Police test powder found in letter to Kach

State police are testing a white powdery substance found yesterday afternoon in a letter hand-delivered to the Annapolis office of Del. A. Wade Kach, officials said.

Police do not believe the substance posed any health threat in the Lowe House Office Building, said a spokesman for Gov. Parris N. Glendening. Nevertheless, the office, which Kach shares with fellow Baltimore County delegates Martha S. Klima and Emil B. Pielke, was quarantined and cleaned yesterday. The substance was taken to the state police lab in Baltimore for testing, officials said.

An aide to Kach opened the letter and the powder fell into his lap, according to police at the scene. The aide, whose name was not released, was told to shower and change clothes. He did not complain of any health problems, police said.

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