House panel votes to trim $5 million for private-school...

Assembly Digest

March 14, 2002|By From staff reports

House panel votes to trim $5 million for private-school texts

A House subcommittee voted yesterday to eliminate $5 million from the governor's budget that was earmarked for textbooks at private and parochial schools.

The 4-3 vote by the House Appropriations education subcommittee is expected to be reconsidered by the full committee this week. Last year, the House initially voted to reject textbook money for nonpublic schools, but $5 million was restored during negotiations between the House and Senate.

The budget proposal under consideration by the Senate reduces Gov. Parris N. Glendening's $5 million proposal to $4 million. The Senate also said the money may not be spent unless the state appropriates money for the Thornton Commission's recommendations for public schools.

House fiscal leaders plan to push local bond bills

Despite the Senate's vow not to approve any local bond bills this year, House fiscal leaders say they will go forward with the proposals to help local governments and nonprofit groups pay for construction projects.

"I know some people will use the word pork to describe these projects, but when you're talking about bond bills that help health care services for the elderly and emergency medical services at hospitals, to me, that's not pork," said Del. Norman H. Conway, a Wicomico County Democrat, who is chairman of the House Appropriations capital budget subcommittee.

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee has moved to divert to other programs the $15 million set aside in the governor's budget for local bond bills. If the House budget includes money for bond bills, negotiators will have to resolve the disagreement.

Senate committee kills bill on gun purchasers

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has killed a bill that would have required licenses and fingerprinting of people who buy handguns and assault-style rifles.

The committee also killed other bills supported by gun-control advocates, including a proposal to require owners to report stolen guns.

House panel votes down walking as state exercise

A House committee has killed a bill that would have made walking the official state exercise.

The bill, sponsored by Del. William A. Bronrott, a Montgomery County Democrat, was inspired by a third-grade class at East Silver Spring Elementary School. It failed by one vote Tuesday in the House Commerce and Government Matters Committee.

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