Although Prince George's legislators said their top priority in the Maryland General Assembly is magnet school funding, they also have sponsored a variety of local bills, including a proposal to add restrictions on charity gambling in the county and a minority set-aside program for Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission contracts.

The gambling legislation would implement several controversial recommendations aimed at reducing the number of charity-sponsored gambling events in the county. Last year, the legislature, concerned that gambling fund-raisers in Prince George's and 14 counties across the state were being infiltrated by professionals, asked county officials in each jurisdiction to study the problem.

In Prince George's, a task force was appointed. Its report to the County Council last fall recommended limiting each organization sponsoring gambling events to no more than twice a month this year and 12 times a year beginning in 1989. It also suggested restricting the amount of cash awards to $1,000, requiring more stringent reporting and auditing procedures and placing conditions on the buying and selling of blackjack tables, wheels of chance and other equipment.

Several large churches and nonprofit organizations, some of which have raised as much as $1 million a year from the events, oppose reducing the number of gambling nights. The council was deadlocked on the proposals last fall and the legislative delegation introduced the task force's recommendations as a bill.

"The task force report generally is accepted," said Del. Dennis C. Donaldson, chairman of the House delegation. "We hope the council will address the issue and not depend on us to pass state legislation."

Another proposal generating interest among county legislators in both chambers is a bill that would set aside some sanitary commission contracts for minority businesses only. Proponents of set-aside programs argue that restricting contracts is necessary for minority businesses to get a fair share of government contracts.

County officials are watching the legislation closely because it follows an effort on the County Council last year to set aside 30 percent of all county contracts for minority firms. The proposal was defeated but raised key questions about the constitutionality of restricted markets under the county's open bidding requirements in the charter.

"The set-aside debate in the county {last year} is probably going to be reflected in the House," Donaldson said. "One of the problems is the legal aspect. Is it constitutional? If we pass it, can it be made into law? If so, does it address the problems of minority participation?"

In contrast to last year when Prince George's legislators convinced the General Assembly to give the county authority to initiate a tax on some forms of energy and to extend the real estate transfer tax, the 33 bills filed before the session opened last week did not include any proposals to raise revenue.

One bill, however, sponsored by state Sen. Leo E. Green (D-Prince George's), would exempt municipalities from paying the energy tax on fuel used by city and town governments. Municipal leaders have complained that without the exemption, city residents would, in effect, pay the tax twice: the cost passed on to them by the municipality and as individual homeowners.

"It is an administrative bungle," Green said.

County Executive Parris Glendening, who lobbied hard for the tax last year to provide $20 million to pay for education, opposes Green's bill because it would "open up a can of worms," said Royal Hart, county lobbyist. Glendening is concerned that if the General Assembly reopens debate on the legislation, other entities and groups such as senior citizens also might win exemptions, Hart said. The county has been refunding the money collected from municipal governments, and last week Glendening asked the County Council to exempt the county's 28 cities and towns from paying the tax.

A proposal to place a civilian on the Prince George's police review panel has run into opposition from Glendening and the council as an unnecessary layer of oversight.

Supporters said a civilian would act as a check and balance for the review panel, which is composed of three police officers and which reviews charges of misconduct.

Sen. Decatur W. Trotter, who has sponsored the bill seven times since 1974, said the number of excessive-force charges has been on the increase since 1984, totaling 40 of the 86 complaints filed against the county police last year.

Glendening and the County Council oppose the bill because excessive-force complaints against police officers already are reviewed by the Human Relations Commission.

Other local bills include: A proposal to allocate money seized by the county in drug cases for salaries of persons involved in drug enforcement. The money now goes into the county's general fund. Glendening said the bill would create administrative problems because the county spends more money on drug enforcement salaries than is recovered through forfeiture. The council also opposes the legislation.

A bill to increase salaries for the Board of Education members. Under the proposal, the salary for the chairman of the nine-member board would increase from $8,500 to $12,000 a year; other board members' salaries would go up from $8,000 to $11,000. After that, salaries would increase 7 percent a year under the bill.

Prince George's officials' top priority is in the hands of the governor and not the legislature. Last year, Gov. William Donald Schaefer budgeted $6 million for the county's magnet schools, and this year, legislators are hoping to increase that contribution to $11 million to help pay for expansion of the program to two additional schools.

Sen. Frank J. Komenda (D-Prince George's), chairman of the county Senate select committee, cautioned that the county might not receive the full $11 million but said he expects the governor to increase the allocation over last year's figure.

"It is unrealistic to expect the governor will fund it to 100 percent or even 50 percent without there being other sacrifices that the county would have to make in other areas," Komenda said.