Bargaining rights are expanded for teacher unions The...

ASSEMBLY DIGEST

April 06, 2002|By From staff reports

Bargaining rights are expanded for teacher unions

The General Assembly gave final approval yesterday to a bill sought by Maryland's teachers unions to give them expanded power in collective bargaining.

The bill, part of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's legislative package, will expand the issues over which unions are permitted to bargain, including such topics as transfers, curriculum selection, teacher evaluations and security. It also grants collective bargaining rights to Eastern Shore support personnel.

The measure was opposed by local school boards and superintendents. It was approved by the House of Delegates yesterday, 120-17. The Senate approved the same measure last month.

Delegates approve plan to boost aid to schools

The House of Delegates gave overwhelming approval yesterday to a plan to boost state aid to public schools by $1.3 billion per year by 2007, rejecting amendments to weaken the legislation.

The 91-49 vote to approve the Thornton Commission bill came one day after House leaders accepted the six-year plan approved by the Senate to overhaul Maryland's system of education financing.

The bill as passed by the House includes a provision requiring the General Assembly to pass a resolution each year affirming that revenues are available for the next year's increased education spending. The measure now goes back to the Senate, where final passage could come as early as today.

Defense based on medical use of marijuana killed

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee killed a bill yesterday that would have allowed medical necessity as a defense for people charged with possession or use of marijuana.

Under the bill, people who successfully used that defense would have faced a maximum penalty of a $100 fine. For patients suffering from diseases such as cancer and AIDS, smoking marijuana can stimulate the appetite and suppress nausea.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Donald E. Murphy, a Baltimore County Republican, passed the House last month 80-56, but it failed 5-6 yesterday in the Senate committee. The committee killed similar legislation last year.

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