Gov. William Donald Schaefer gets a C-plus when it comes to combating the state's hunger problem, but he's way ahead of Maryland's senators and delegates, according to a new report card from the Maryland Food Committee.
The committee said Mr. Schaefer deserved a C-plus for his efforts during this year's legislative session, down slightly from the B-minus the group awarded last year to the governor and legislators.
The legislature fell this year to a D-plus, earning lower grades than the governor in three of the five "subjects" in which they were graded on the "Campaign to End Childhood Hunger" report card.
Linda Eisenberg, executive director of the Maryland Food Committee, said the governor and the legislature were graded separately in all areas.
Both the executive and legislative branches fared poorly in one category, "Feeding Schoolchildren." They got D's for not reinstating cuts to the state's reduced-price school meal program. The subsidy was cut 25 percent last fall.
Other categories on this year's card included:
* Feeding mothers and children: This was one of the state's weakest subjects until last year, when the governor agreed to include $1 million in state funds for the federal program known as WIC -- the Women, Infants and Children's supplemental food program. The change catapulted the state from an F to an A-minus. With this year's separate grades, however, the governor earned an A, while the legislature was downgraded to a C-minus, because the House of Delegates cut the allocation by half.
* Feeding senior citizens: Both the governor and the legislature received a C, down from last year's B.
* Tax reform: Mr. Schaefer received a B-minus; the General Assembly a D-plus.
* Fighting poverty: The governor received a C, the General Assembly a D-plus.