On the first day of the 95th Congress, Maryland's Republican Sen. Charles McC. Mathias introduced a legislative package of 10 bills dealing with what he says are the major issues facing the country: The economy, crime and civil liberties, education, energy, welfare reform, home ownership and the elderly.
Mathias' first legislative effort involves the Employment Resources Act and Youth Employment Act, aimed at the problems of unemployment and inflation. The bills call for a full employment economy and include efforts to cut the particularly high unemployment rate among youths 16 to 24 years.
Other legislation introduced in the senator's package include a bill to provide protection from unreasonable searches and seizures and invasions of citizens' privacy; a bill ato provide federal grants to states and cities assisting in the prosecution of persons charged two or more times with violent crimes, and a bill designed to change the trend of recent Supreme Court decisions limiting access to the federal courts for persons seeking relief under the Civil Right Act.
Mathias has also cosponsored an act to alter the welfare system and has introduced legislation to extend public school education to four-year-olds - an age at which he feels "immense strides in learning can be made."
In the business arena, Mathias' pack-age includes the Small Business Administrative Revies Act to provide small businessmen a forum in which to contest fines and citations issued by federal agencies.
With regard to energy, Mathias has introduced one bill aimed at providing incentives for the construction of oil refineries in the United States and a second which deals with the disposal of nuclear waste.
Finally, Mathias has introduced the Home Buyers' Assistance Act to help the growing number of families being squeezed out of the house buying market. The bill would enable potential home buyers to better match monthly payments with their income.
One of the first legislative priorities of Rep. Gladys Noon Spellman of Prince George's County has been to reintroduce her Life Support Centers bill to provide assistance to pregnant adolescents.
Mrs. Spellman believes there are so many problems facing young women who become pregnant "that they turn to abortion without realizing there are other ways to handle the situation."
Spellman's bill establishes "life support" centers through state and local health agencies and nonprofit organizations. The centers would not only provide medical services but also social services and counseling.
Spellman has also renewed her cosponsorship of a bill that would authorize federal support for demonstration programs designed to expand employment by increasing productivity. The bill provides for job training and upgrading of skills, prevention of layoffs and greater participation of employees in the decision-making process.
Mrs. Spellman will be scheduling more "open door meetings" to meet with constituents and discuss certain problems they might have. The meetings will be held evenings throughout her district. They are generally staffed with a caseworker equipped to solve specific concerns of constituents.
Because Prince George's County has approximately 30,000 people who are deaf or have impaired hearing, Mrs. Spellman will provide an interpreter from Gallaudet College at these open door meetings.
Reps. Spellman, Marjorie Holt and Newton Steers of Maryland and Herb Harris of Virginia announced that they would jointly introduce a bill to begin work on a facility that would allow the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission to pump adequate supplies of water to the metropolitan area in periods of low Potomac River flow.
The plan would allow for the construction of a low level underwater dam to minimize the threat of water shortages in summer months. The concrete structure would keep the minimum depth necessary for pumping during the dry months of July and August.
One bill introduced by Holt this year was a proposed constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. The amendment would allow deficit spending only in times of national emergency. Mrs. Holt has also introduced legislation that would require a "zero-based" review of each federal program every six years to determine whether the program should be continued.
Holt said if this legislation is enacted, "it will force sound management on the federal bureaucracy.
"There are more than 1,000 federal programs," she said. "It's time for Congress to examine what we already have instead of creating more new programs."
Newton Steers, who succeeded Gilber Gude in the Eighth District, wasted no time in cosponsoring legislation that would delay any congressional salary increase until a new Congress is seated.
The chief benefit of the Congressional Pay Raise Deferral Act, according to Steers, is that it will allow the public to properly express its views on any Congressional pay raise because the members must stand for re-election before they could receive any benefit from a salary change.
Steers' district office has been located in room 413 of the Wheaton Plaza North Office Building (Telephone: 427-7548). Steers and staff are currently looking into the possibility of a mobile office unit that would travel to various areas in his district to accommodate constituents.
The congressman's new staff includes his administrative assistant Bill Grigg of Chevy Chase, who was formerly with Gil Gude; Robert Avancena of Rockville, who will be Steers' seniro legislative aide; W. Greg Wims of Gaithersburg, a field representative for the congressman, and special projects director Keith Schisik of Silver Spring.
Others in the congressman's office will be Beverly Blood, a graduate of Gettsburg College, and Donna Hansen, of Bethesda, who will be case-workers. Serving as legislatives aides will be Peter Knight of Chevy Chase and Steven Jacobs of Gaithersburg. Jacobs and Knight both worked on Steer's campaign. David Blee of Bethesda, who also worked on th congressman's campaign, will be reponsible for press work.