Not all of the buck-passing is flowing from Washington to Annapolis these days. In a bit of the Old Federalism, the legislature has kicked back to Washington suggestions that Congress deal with problems relating to crime and religion.
The House Judiciary Committee today, by a vote of 11 to 10, defeated a proposal that would have banned the use of super-penetrating bullets in the state. The committee urged Congress to ban the manufacture and sale of the Teflon-coated "killer bullets," whose sole purpose is to penetrate bulletproof vests.
And the Senate, by a vote of 34 to 9, approved a resolution Monday night that asks Congress to enact legislation to counteract court decisons it believes have discouraged voluntary prayers in the schools. It was the first of two proposals on the topic sponsored by Sen. Joseph Bonvegna (D-Baltimore.) The other, which has not yet been considered by the Senate, would require public schools to set aside time each day for voluntary meditation by their students. A demonstration--silent, of course--in favor of the proposal was held outside the Statehouse this morning.
Robin Ficker, the maverick Republican from Montgomery County, gave each of his fellow delegates a lemon today in an unsuccessful effort to override the Economic Matters Committee's rejection of his so-called "lemon car bill" designed to protect consumers from defective automobiles.
Ficker got 15 delegates to sign a petition asking that the bill, rather than the committee's unfavorable report be brought to the floor, but the House voted 72 to 45 to uphold the committee's decision.
"It was a good bill, I voted with him," said Del. Timothy F. Maloney (D-Prince George's). "Guys voted against Ficker, not the bill. But he's out there being interviewed on TV. So, as far as Robin's concerned, he won."
A bill that would allow the Public Service Commission to establish a "lifeline rate" on utilities for elderly persons unable to pay regular rates, passed the Environmental Matters Committee of the house today by a vote of 12 to 11. The bill, introduced by Del. Joan B. Pitkin (D-Prince George's) will probably come to the floor for what promises to be a lively debate--and a vote--on Friday.