Press gets reprieve on eviction from State House

Move is on hold pending meeting of building trust

July 16, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Reporters assigned to the press room at the State House didn't have to move out yesterday after all, despite a previous eviction notice by the Ehrlich administration.

In a letter yesterday, Boyd K. Rutherford, general services secretary, told House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller that the eviction was on hold pending a meeting of State House Trust - which has authority over the building and its grounds.

Rutherford sent news organizations letters June 29 telling them they would have to vacate rooms on the ground floor of the State House by July 15 to make way for much-needed renovations.

Media outlets objected to the move, stating that it would interfere with their coverage of the executive and legislative branches.

Busch and Miller also were upset.

The legislative leaders said they would go to court to stop the renovations because they had never had a chance to approve them. They are members of the State House Trust, along with Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele and J. Rodney Little of the Maryland Historical Trust.

Busch and Miller argued that it would be a violation of state law to make changes to the State House without the full approval of the trust. No date has been set for the meeting.

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