Legislation that would have required professionals and businesses in Maryland to use "plain English" in place of legal jargon in documents such as insurance policies and consumer contracts was turned down in the state legislature in Annapolis last week.
The Senate Economic Affairs Committee recommended that bills designed to require plain language be dropped, after business groups protested that they already were moving toward introducing understandable language in documents. Under one bill, the state would have been able to impose a $1,000 fine if a consumer contract was not written in simplified language.
In other action, Senate committee defeated 7-1 part of a House bill that would have forced banks to document claims of losses on credit-card operations. w
The House of Delegates, meanwhile, approved legislation that would double the maximum rate of interest on land installment contracts to 16 percent from 8 percent. Supporters said the legislation would permit more state residents to find financing of home mortgages in the current era of record interest rates.
The Virginia General Assembly will convene today for a special session during which it will consider redistricting legislation and a proposal for the state to build its own coal exporting facilities in Portsmouth. A public hearing on the Portsmouth coal facility bill will be 2 p.m. in House Room D.
This week's business-related committee hearings in the Maryland General Assembly: Maryland Senate
Tuesday: Budget and Taxation Committee considers various income tax legislation and a homeowner's property tax credit eligibility bill, 10 a.m., Room 100, James Office Bldg.
Wednesday: Budget and Taxation Committee holds hearings on several property tax and property tax credit bills, 10 a.m., Room 100 James Office Bldg.
Economic Affairs Committee hearings on Maryland Environmental Service -- Industrial Development Revenue Bonds, 10 a.m., Room 200, James Office Bldg.
Thursday: Budget and Taxation Committee hearings on income and sales tax legislation, 10 a.m., Room 100, James Office Bldg.
Friday: Budget and Taxation Committee considers property tax legislation, 10 a.m., Room 100, James Office Bldg. Maryland House
Tuesday: Economic Matters Committee considers bills relating to workmen's compensation and health, auto and life insurance, 1 p.m., Room 150, Lowe Office Bldg.
Ways and Means Committee considers income tax legislation, 1:30 p.m., Room 110, Lowe Office Bldg.
Wednesday: Economic Matters Committee holds hearings on unemployment insurance legislation, 1 p.m., Room 150, Lowe Office Bldg.