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Sen. Justin Ready, R-District 5, speaks during a groundbreaking at the site of the Fuch's North America headquarters in Hampstead Tuesday, June 23.
Sen. Justin Ready, R-District 5, speaks during a groundbreaking at the site of the Fuch's North America headquarters in Hampstead Tuesday, June 23. (DAVE MUNCHSTAFF PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

Two state senators from Carroll County's delegation in Annapolis were named in a Thursday article in The Washington Post about legislators whose websites included donation pages during session.

Sens. Justin Ready and Gail Bates are two of 17 lawmakers who the Post says either have a page for donations up on their website currently or had one up at some point during the session.

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Maryland elections law forbids members of the General Assembly from maintaining active contribution links on their websites. Only those running for offices at the national or local level may actively fundraise during session.

The issue has been the subject of discussion since Montgomery County Young Republicans publicly criticized Montgomery County Sen. Roger Manno, a Democrat, for a contribution page on his website.

Manno is the sponsor of legislation aimed at cracking down on legislators who solicit donations during the General Assembly session, which runs from January to April.

Bates and Ready, who were both listed by the Post as having donations pages up during part of the session that have since been taken down, say they were unaware that their websites may have been in any kind of violation.

"I'm not actually sure what they're talking about," said Ready, R-District 5. "We have not since the first day of session had a page up that allows you to donate."

Ready said he instructed his staff to remove the ability to accept donations from his site on the morning before the noon start of the legislative session Jan. 13. If a donation tab was on the site, he said, it was deactivated.

"I take the rules very seriously," he said.

Bates, R-District 9, said the button on her website for donations was up, but it was deactivated before the start of the session, so making a contribution through the site would not have been possible.

"The button was still there, but you could not utilize it," she said, adding that she has since taken it completely off the page. "We were under the impression that was enough to satisfy the law."

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