Pesticide study funding advances

House and Senate agreed separately Thursday to raise fees on pesticides sold in Maryland to help pay for further study of their use.

The House voted 100 to 35 for a fee increase bill, while the Senate passed its version, 37 to 6. One chamber must pass the other's bill for it to go to the governor's desk for signature.

The measure is a priority of the state's environmental community, which contends that pesticide use poses serious health risks.  A workgroup studying pesticide use in the state has agreed so far. though, only on the need for a better survey.  It recommended a $10 increase in chemical registration fees to finance the work.

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