Session on bills set for Assembly is postponed

November 25, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

A discussion and voting session scheduled for Dec. 3 on 13 Howard County bills slated for introduction in the 2004 session of the General Assembly has been postponed.

Instead, Howard's 11 state legislators will meet Jan. 21, a week after the 90-day legislative session starts.

Del. Frank S. Turner, House delegation chairman, had hoped to whittle down the long list of bills at the Dec. 3 meeting, but several members asked for a delay and he said he granted it "as a courtesy." Sen. Robert H. Kittleman, chairman of the Senate delegation, agreed with the postponement, he said.

Five of the measures seek to raise more money for school construction through targeted tax increases, while several of the others propose changes to the school board's operations, including adding two members to the five-member body, starting in 2006.

The legislators heard about eight hours of testimony on all the bills over two nights last week, with a nearly five-hour hearing Thursday night continuing until just after midnight Friday.

"There are some fiscal notes and amendments that need to be drafted," Turner said.

Del. Elizabeth Bobo, who sponsored four tax bills, said she did not think "any of these bills are going to pass in exactly the form they're in now."

The meeting is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. in Room 431 on the fourth floor of the House Office Building in Annapolis, Turner said.

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