Schools would be told of arrests under bill


Police would have to alert school officials within 24 hours of arresting a student for a violent crime under a measure approved by the House of Delegates last week.

House Bill 519 passed unanimously Thursday with the support of school officials worried about a growing level of violence among teen-agers. From 1986 to 1990, 65 students and six educators were shot and killed at schools nationwide. Another 400 were seriously wounded or held hostage at gunpoint.

School officials said the measure would allow them to tailor educational services to accused students, including counseling, and to take measures to protect other students and teachers from potentially violent confrontations.

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would prohibit school officials from including an arrest in a student's permanent record.

House approves domestic violence bill

The House unanimously approved a domestic violence proposal late Friday that advocates say would make it easier to arrest and prosecute offenders.

House Bill 140 would require police officers to arrest people they believe are in violation of protective court orders. To help prosecutors, the bill would allow them to introduce as evidence confidential communications between spouses -- either oral or written. Under current law, marital communications are considered private in most cases.

The measure now moves to the state Senate, which unanimously passed a similar proposal last week.

Car thieves could lose driver's licenses

Car thieves would lose their driver's licenses under a bill unanimously passed by the Senate Friday.

Senate Bill 405 would require the Motor Vehicle Administration to suspend the license of a convicted car thief for 10 years. Someone convicted of unauthorized use would lose his or her license for five years, while damaging or tampering with a vehicle would carry a two-year suspension.

The bill would allow the MVA to issue the offender a restricted license, allowing him to drive to and from work.

Supporters, including the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, said the proposal would be a "nonjail" deterrent to car thefts, particularly those by juveniles, in the metropolitan areas. More than 48 percent of those arrested in car thefts in Baltimore are juveniles.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, a Democrat from Anne Arundel County, now goes to the House.

Bill would protect references from suits

The Senate agreed Friday to protect companies and supervisors who provide job references from lawsuits by disgruntled former employees.

Supporters of Senate Bill 494 say companies are refusing to provide prospective employers with anything but basic information, such as dates of employment, job titles and, sometimes, salaries. They fear applicants will blame them -- and sue -- if they do not get jobs.

Under the bill, a company would be immune from such a suit unless the employee can show deliberate malice.

The measure, which passed unanimously, now goes to the House. It has the backing of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and the Maryland State Police.


To receive, by fax, a copy of the Maryland General Assembly legislative hearing schedule for the week, dial 332-6123. Enter the information number 5959.

To receive the schedule automatically each week, call the electronic news desk at 332-6893.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad