Assembly Digest

January 17, 2004

House delays efforts to override vetos

The House of Delegates postponed until Tuesday action on the planned override of several vetoes by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., to seek clarification and so lawmakers absent from the session yesterday could participate.

Delegates are expected to overturn as many as three bills Ehrlich rejected after last year's session. The legislation includes measures that would set energy-efficiency standards for nine types of appliances sold in Maryland; restore pension funds that 51 state employees in Baltimore City Child Enforcement lost when the agency was privatized; and prevent places that sell alcohol from opening within 300 feet of churches and schools in South Baltimore.

The Senate voted Thursday to override the three vetoes. If the House goes along, as expected, it will be the first time in 15 years that lawmakers have successfully used their override power. GOP lawmakers, the minority in the legislature, call the override effort a "slap in the face" of the Republican executive.

Sen. McFadden re-elected head of city delegation

Baltimore senators re-elected yesterday Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden as chairman of the six-member delegation that represents the city in Annapolis.

McFadden, an East Baltimore Democrat and Senate majority leader, was unanimously re-elected to the position, which he has held since 1997. As chairman, McFadden serves as spokesman for the delegation.

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