Carroll delegation discusses early legislative proposals

For the past six years, Carroll County has tried to pass a bill in the General Assembly that would allow charitable organizations, such as the Carroll County Volunteer Emergency Services Association (CCVESA), to host casino nights as fundraisers.

This upcoming legislative session might be the year it is finally approved with increased gaming around the state.

"Now everybody wants a piece," Delegate Susan Krebs, an Eldersburg Republican, said Thursday referring to the perception of gaming bills around the state.

The Board of Carroll County Commissioners and the county's state delegation met Thursday morning to discuss an early version of the county's legislative proposals for the upcoming session.

In addition to the gaming bill, the commissioners' early legislative proposals include:

• A bill to raise the county Sheriff's salary from $75,910 to $90,000

• A bill to that would cover the county Industrial Development Authority under the Local Government Tort Claims Act, thus lowering the authority's cost of insurance

• The county's annual public facilities bond request

Krebs, who described the county's legislative proposals as "routine" requests, said the delegation plans to host a public hearing in December or January for citizens to weigh in on the county topics.

Last year, Carroll County had five pieces of legislation, including the gaming bill, that passed the Senate, but failed in the House.

Commissioners President Doug Howard said the board has not yet discussed whether it would again submit these bills:

• A bill that prohibits Carroll County Board of Education from collecting biometric information, such as palm scanning, from any public school student

• A bill requiring government institutions to deny the release of the email address of an individual under a public information act request

• A bill that would increase attorney appearance fees in circuit court from $10 to $20 to fund the Carroll County Law Library

• A bill that would increase the liquor license fees over three years to provide funding for an additional inspector for underage liquor sales compliance by the county liquor board

Howard added that the board will be discussing its legislative package and hosting a public hearing on the proposals in the coming weeks.

Sen. Joe Getty, a Manchester Republican, presented two new pieces of proposed legislation regarding county liquor laws for consideration.

The bills, both requested by the Carroll County Licensed Beverage Association, include:

• A bill allowing establishments with an off-sale retail alcohol beverage license to sell draft beer in refillable containers, commonly called growlers

• A bill repealing a section of law that forces the Board of License Commissioners to pay 25 percent of license fees to the incorporated town in which the business is located

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