Yesterday's actions

General Assembly

April 09, 2004

VACCINES: The House of Delegates gave final approval and sent to the governor a bill that would permit pharmacists to administer influenza vaccines. The measure, which has been approved by the state Senate, would permit pharmacists around the state to operate under rules that govern nurses at company-sponsored flu shot days, allowing them to give shots and sprays to people older than age 18. Currently, only registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians and physician assistants are allowed to administer immunizations in the state.

UMBILICAL CORD: The House also passed a Senate bill that would require hospitals to inform pregnant women about donating their umbilical cord blood after birth to aid in medical treatment and research.

FLUSH: The Senate approved a $2.50-a-month fee on users of public sewer and private septic systems to finance a cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay - an expanded version of a bill proposed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. The 38-9 vote sends the bill to a conference committee with the House, which also amended Ehrlich's legislation to include septic systems. Negotiators will try to resolve how the charge on septic systems will be collected. Five Republicans joined 33 Democrats in supporting the bill. Sen. Roy P. Dyson, a St. Mary's County Democrat, joined eight Republicans in opposition.

HATE: The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee approved and sent to the full chamber a bill that would expand the state's hate-crime law to include offenses motivated by the victim's sexual orientation. The bill has been approved by the House.

DISABILITIES: The Health and Government Operations Committee approved and sent to the full House a bill requested by the governor to create a separate Department of Disabilities within the state government. The bill has passed the Senate.

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