The Maryland House of Delegates last week defeated legislation that would have expanded the state Real Estate Commission while reducing its consumer members. Later, House members voted to reconsider action on the bill this week in Annapolis.
The Real Estate Commission bill, introduced by Del. John Quade (D-St. Mary's), would have expanded the body from eight members to 11, but reduced the number of consumer appointees from three to two.
The measure fell 18 votes short of the 71 needed for passage.
Quade said the expansion would have provided better geographic representation on the commission and the boost in professional representation vs. consumer members would make no difference.
"Because you're a professional doesn't mean you're not a consumer," he said.
But Del. Pauline Menes (D-Prince George's) argued that "there ought to be a logical ratio of consumer interests to professional interests" on the commission.
In other action, the House passed and sent to the Senate legislation that would require the State Ethics Commission to compile a list each year to all businesses that had dealings with the state in the preceding calendar year.
The Senate, meanwhile, gave preliminary approval to a bill that would increase the cost of buying furniture on credit. Endorsed by a 30-10 vote was a measure that would permit interest rates ranging from 22 percent to 26 percent, depending on the prime interest rate and the value of the furniture.
This week's business-related committee hearings in the Maryland General Assembly. The Virginia General Assembly regular session has adjourned. A special session is scheduled later. MARYLAND SENATE
Tuesday: Budget and Taxation Committee holds hearings on property, sales and motor vehicle fuel tax legislation, 10 a.m., Room 100, James Senate Office Bldg.
Economic Affairs Committee considers legislation on banks and savings and loan associations, 10 a.m., Room 200, James Senate Office Bldg.
Thursday: Budget and Taxation Committee considers various income and property tax bills, 10 a.m., Room 100, James Senate Office Bldg.
Economic Affairs Committee holds hearings on various real-estate related legislation, 10 a.m., Room 200, James Senate Office Bldg.
Friday: Budget and Taxation Committee hearings on property tax legislation, 10 a.m., Room 100, James Senate Office Bldg. MARYLAND HOUSE
Tuesday: Ways and Means Committee holds hearings on bills pertaining to gasohol, mass transit, property tax and sales tax, 1:30 p.m., Room 110, Lowe Office Bldg.
Wednesday: Appropriations Committee considers various pension legislation, 1 p.m., Room 130, Lowe Office Bldg.