Only one bill sponsored by the Howard County Delegation failed to be approved before the General Assembly wrapped up its 2013 session Monday, April 8.
The bill would have given organizations the authority to hold casino events with a permit from the county, but the measure never made it past the House of Delegates' Ways and Means committee.
Del. Guy Guzzone, a Columbia Democrat who co-chairs the delegation, said Tuesday the 2013 session was an "absolute success" for Howard County.
Guzzone cited the passage of the wine growler and Merriweather bills along with six bond bills totaling $900,000 for county projects.
"I couldn't have been more pleased by the projects this year and the level of funding," he said.
State funding will support projects such as Blandair Regional Park, the Arc of Howard County's Homewood Road facility, Clarksville's Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and the county's Domestic Violence Center.
Howard County bills passed by the General Assembly include:
• A revitalization property tax credit aimed at property owners on Route 1 who have renovated, upgraded or rehabilitated their property.
• Authorizing restaurants with a refillable container license to sell wine in 17- to 34-ounce containers.
• Authorizing the county's library employees to form a collective bargaining unit.
• Allowing Merriweather Post Pavilion to produce sound up to 95 decibels within a quarter-mile radius of the property up to 11 p.m. The venue is not allowed to produce any amplified sound between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 9 a.m., except if the sound is due to an activity sponsored or authorized by the Howard County Public School System. Sound from school system events can start no earlier than 8 a.m.
• A raise for the Howard County sheriff from $85,000 to $97,000 beginning in 2018. The bill does not affect the sheriff's salary during the current term in office.
•A raise for the judges of the Orphans' Court from $8,000 to $10,000. The chief judge will received $11,500, up from the current $9,500. These raises will take effect at the beginning of the next term of office.
• Allowing a Class B liquor license be granted to a restaurant within 400 feet from the nearest point of a public school building.
• Authorizing the Howard County Board of License Commissioners to issue a Class C liquor license to a continuing care retirement community. The licenses allows for the sale of beer, wine and liquor for on-premises consumption only.
• Authorizing the state comptroller to issue a winery special event permit to a Class 4 county winery to sell wine at farmers' markets.
• Authorizing a farm brewery license to a county resident that holds no more than two Class B beer, wine, and liquor licenses.
Grace's Law passes
A bill named in honor of a Howard County girl who committed suicide after she was bullied online would make it a misdemeanor to repeatedly and maliciously use a computer or smartphone to bully someone under the age of 18.
The Senate last week gave final approval to "Grace's Law," which was introduced by Del. Jon Cardin, a Baltimore County Democrat.