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Ethics, public-private partnership bills progress

Amid all the hoopla about the budget and gambling, some significant bills that had been held up until the last day began making progress through the General Assembly.

Among the bills whose proponents were trying to beat the clock was the administration's effort to write new rules governing public-private partnerships (P3s) and a Senate-originated effort to put legislators' ethics disclosures on line.

The House agreed to the Senate's decision to leave a controversial amendment off the P3 bill but made other changes that required the approval of both the House and Senate before midnight. The administration bill is a pet project of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, who led a  commission that called for the legislation.

The ethics form disclosure bill is a more limited version of an effort that originated in the Senate after the scandal that led to the censure of Sen. Ulysses Currie, D-Prince George's, early in the session. The House adopted a more limited form of online disclosure and referred other issues to a study group.

The bill was expected to receive House approval in the evening session, but those change would then have to be approved by the Senate before the deadline in order to become law.




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