A bill to change the $7 million legislative scholarship program has passed the House of Delegates and is pending in the state Senate, along with other related reform efforts. The Sun yesterday asked 46 of the 47 senators if they support the change -- which would remove the scholarships from the arena )) of political patronage. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., who has strongly opposed such change, could not be reached to be interviewed.
* Signifies a member of the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee. Six of the committee's 11 members must vote in favor of the reform effort for it to be considered by the full Senate.
For abolition or major reform of the legislative scholarship program
"Let's give the money to the community colleges and boards of education" to distribute to students. -- William H. Amoss, D-Harford.
"I think we have to take some major steps to get people to believe that we're here as public servants to do what's right." -- Mary Boergers, D-Montgomery.
"In the past the case has been made that there is abuse of the awards. Everything is perception today." -- F. Vernon Boozer, R-Baltimore County.
"I think there's been enough documentation to justify changing the system in a radical way." -- Howard A. Denis, R-Montgomery.
"The public perception is that [the program is] being done for political benefit." -- John W. Derr, R-Frederick.
"I'd give it up in a minute. I think it's a nuisance." -- Habern W. Freeman Jr., D-Harford.
L "I'm for abolishing it." -- Leo E. Green, D-Prince George's.
"I'm in favor of abolishing the program. Let someone else take the heat for the ones that don't get a scholarship." -- John J. Hafer, R-Allegany
"If the bill comes out, I'll vote for it." -- Barbara A. Hoffman, D-Baltimore.
"For 12 years I've had the scholarship board do all my awards. It's something I've felt better for ever since." -- Julian L. Lapides, D-Baltimore.
* "I would vote to abolish it and let the State Scholarship Administration administer the program, for the most part because I don't think it's a proper function of a legislator's duty." -- Christopher J. McCabe, R-Howard.
"I am for absolutely doing away with the senatorial scholarships and the general state scholarships and turning them into a loan program with payment connected to the student's ability to pay." -- Thomas P. O'Reilly, D-Prince George's.
"I think the bill is an excellent approach." -- Janice Piccinini, D-Baltimore County.
"Because of perception, and there has been some abuse, it's important to vote for it." -- Ida G. Ruben, D-Montgomery
* "I have voted to abolish it in the past." -- Gerald W. Winegrad, D-Anne Arundel.
Against abolition of current legislative scholarship program
* "I want a total reform and reorganization of the whole scholarship program. . . . [The bills] are fixing a tentacle rather than dealing with the whole octopus." -- Clarence W. Blount, D-Baltimore.
"It is not a political plum for Senator Bromwell. It is a program that helps the kids who fall between the cracks." -- Thomas L. Bromwell, D-Baltimore County.
"Time and time again, I see many people who have fallen through the cracks and are able to be assisted by that program." -- George W. Della Jr., D-Baltimore
* "The program prevents kids from falling through the cracks." -- Arthur Dorman, D-Prince George's.
* "I never know who's going to get a scholarship until it's put on my desk." -- C. Bernard Fowler, D-Calvert.
"The scholarship board misses a lot of people who are in need. . . . We add a human touch to the whole thing." -- Ralph M. Hughes, D-Baltimore.
* "In my district, it's working perfectly. It's beautiful. . . . Let the House eliminate theirs. They shouldn't worry about the Senate's." -- Gloria Lawlah, D-Prince George's.
"There are people I know who need help that the scholarship board says have no need. For me it's more aggravation than benefit." -- Laurence Levitan, D-Montgomery.
"I'm going to vote to keep the scholarships just the way they are. . . . If this scholarship program is administered properly, it can be done better on the local level than it can by the bureaucrats." -- Frederick C. Malkus Jr., D-Dorchester.
"After the awards have been made, I've discovered that they've given scholarships to people who have worked for my opposition, and that's how it should be. . . . I don't believe that it's a political benefit. I just think it helps the students in my district who would otherwise not be given any assistance." -- jTC Nancy L. Murphy, D-Baltimore County.
"My personal scholarship program in the 43rd district is a very legitimate program. It's open to scrutiny. I don't want the state scholarship administration to do it." -- John A. Pica Jr., D-Baltimore.
"I'm proud of the way I operate. I'm not going to make apologies myself." -- Charles H. Smelser, D-Carroll.
"I'm not opposed to the bill, but I like to be able to control my own finances. . . . I'm comfortable with it." -- Beatrice P. Tignor, D-Prince George's.
"I'll vote to keep the present program." -- Larry Young, D-Baltimore
Undecided, in the middle or no comment
"I don't do polls." -- Walter M. Baker, D-Cecil.
"I don't do polls." -- John A. Cade, R-Anne Arundel.
* "I can't comment on a bill I haven't heard." -- Michael J. Collins, D-Baltimore County.
* "I want to hear what people have to say at the hearing." -- Idamae Garrott, D-Montgomery.
"I'm a little bit undecided as to whether I would vote to abolish it." -- Larry E. Haines, R-Carroll.
* "Right now, my position is, I fully understand the perception of some people in the public and I would be willing to make major changes to the program." -- Paula C. Hollinger, D-Baltimore County.
"I certainly believe it is a political perk, no doubt about it, one of the few left for the senators of Maryland. . . . [But] you cannot provide the amount of scholarships desired of you. . . . Sometimes the juice ain't worth the squeeze." -- Nathan C. Irby Jr., D-Baltimore.
"I could support it if there was an alternative where it could be distributed through each district and take into account extenuating circumstances." -- Philip C. Jimeno, D-Anne Arundel.
* "I would have to see the bills before I can make a comment on it." -- American Joe Miedusiewski, D-Baltimore
"My answer at this point is 'no comment' until I've heard the debate." -- Donald F. Munson, R-Washington.
"I think the reporting job that Common Cause did was terrible." -- Patricia R. Sher, D-Montgomery.
"I don't have any problem giving up the scholarships as long as the money comes back to my district." -- James C. Simpson, D-Charles.
* "I want to have a warm human being awarding these rather than a cold scholarship computer." -- J. Lowell Stoltzfus, R-Somerset.
"I have some mixed emotions. The scholarships are a lot of work. But many of the people we've been able to help can't go any place else." -- Norman R. Stone Jr., D-Baltimore County.
"I'm neutral. Before I came into office, blacks didn't get scholarships in my district, and that's one of the considerations that will be bearing on my mind." -- Decatur W. Trotter, D-Prince George's.
"I wouldn't vote for the complete abolishment before I think there's a definite plan for helping middle-class people." -- Thomas M. Yeager, D-Howard.
"I'm not going to vote to take the money out of my district." -- Michael J. Wagner, D-Anne Arundel.