Expansion of lottery games receives final approval The...

ASSEMBLY DIGEST

March 27, 2002|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Expansion of lottery games receives final approval

The General Assembly gave final approval yesterday to legislation that will allow Maryland Lottery officials to enter agreements for expanded games with other states or countries.

The measure -- approved by the House, 119-14 -- comes as the lottery looks to create games with larger potential jackpots to increase interest in playing.

The lottery represents Maryland's third-largest source of general fund revenue, with $432 million expected next year.

Bill requiring police to take DNA from felons is OK'd

The House of Delegates passed a DNA bill yesterday that would require state police to take genetic samples from all felons, a measure pushed by Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley.

The bill, approved 133-6, also would require that state police keep evidence containing DNA for the duration of a felon's sentence. Current law allows police to destroy such evidence after three years. The Senate has passed a similar bill.

Delegate Branch files suit against owners of Fla. bar

A Baltimore legislator filed a $30 million lawsuit yesterday against the owners of a Florida bar who denied him service last year because he is black.

At a news conference yesterday in Tallahassee, Fla., Del. Talmadge Branch and his atorney, Willie E. Gary, announced the lawsuit against the owners of the Perry Package Store & Lounge in Perry, Fla. The suit, filed in Taylor County Circuit Court, accuses the bar of intentionally inflicting emotional harm when a bartender told Branch on Feb. 3 last year that she could not serve him in the bar and that he would have to go to a back room.

After Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, brother of President Bush, ordered an inquiry into the case, the bar's owners, David and Diane Holton, acknowledged the incident occurred. The state then ordered the owners and the bartender, Patricia Hughes, to pay $500 each and to send an apology to Branch, an East Baltimore Democrat.

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