Bill giving council more power not vetoed

October 21, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens did not veto a bill passed by the County Council to give itself more power, allowing it to become law.

Owens, a Democrat, did not sign the bill either. That means it became law Friday - 10 days after the council passed it.

Instead of just approving the amount of money a county department gets, council members said they will now be able to approve the number and type of employees within each department.

Owens and her administration had said the council was attempting to micromanage, and that the law could prevent the administration from hiring and managing effectively.

Council members said they need more control over the budget so that department heads don't hire extra employees and pay them with money the council members expected to be used for other purposes.

If Owens had vetoed the bill, it would have required the votes of five of the seven council members to override the veto. The council passed the bill unanimously.

Owens previously said she was exploring whether it was legal for the council to pass such a bill.

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