Assembly Digest

ASSEMBLY DIGEST

April 09, 2005|By From staff reports

House passes Ehrlich measure on witness intimidation

The House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s witness intimidation bill yesterday on a 131-4 vote.

The bill increases penalties for witness intimidation and allows some of out-of-court statements of witnesses to be used as evidence at trials, a practice commonly referred to as a hearsay exception.

The vote comes after Ehrlich and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph F. Vallario Jr. reached a compromise on the bill this week, which further limited the use of the hearsay exception. Voting against the bill were Dels. Jill P. Carter, Salima S. Marriott, Nathaniel T. Oaks and Clarence Davis, all Baltimore Democrats.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed a similar bill last month, which a House committee amended this week to make identical to its bill. The amended Senate bill passed the full House yesterday and now must be voted on again by the Senate.

Senate panel endorses bill renaming BWI for Marshall

A Senate committee endorsed a bill yesterday to rename Baltimore-Washington International Airport for civil rights leader, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

The House of Delegates already has passed a bill renaming the airport for Marshall. But the House version would make the airport Thurgood Marshall BWI, whereas the Senate would change it to BWI Thurgood Marshall.

Senate OKs bill requiring schools to report on bullies

A bill requiring schools to report instances of bullying won final passage in the legislature yesterday.

The Senate voted 31-16 in favor of the bill, which had passed in the House of Delegates.

Republicans in the Senate said they were worried that the bill would impose onerous paperwork on teachers and school administrators. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. vetoed a similar bill last year.

But Democrats argued that the state needs data on the extent and types of bullying taking place in schools.

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