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Mandel testifies against amendments to Md. ConstitutionMaking...


Mandel testifies against amendments to Md. Constitution

Making a rare appearance before a legislative committee, former Gov. Marvin Mandel testified yesterday against a proposed change in the Maryland Constitution that would make it easier for the General Assembly to combine two pieces of legislation into one.

The measure would undo a recent Court of Appeals decision that declared unconstitutional a 1998 bill that combined two legislative issues, one of which a Senate committee had defeated.

Mandel and other opponents said the measure could lead the Assembly to become more like Congress, where multisubject legislation is common. Legislative leaders expressed doubt yesterday about trying to pass the constitutional amendment in the four days left in this year's session.

House approves tax bill; credit expansion efforts end

Efforts to expand a tax credit for the working poor have apparently ended in the General Assembly.

The House approved a bill yesterday that would accelerate an expansion of the earned income tax credit, but not expand it. The Senate has passed a similar measure.

Some legislators had hoped to substantially expand the credit, which sends a state payment to the working poor even if they have no income tax liability.

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