Work on successful bills is just beginning

Posted on July 11, 1999 at 14:19:48:

The General Assembly gets a lot of publicity during its 90-days winter session in Annapolis.

But after the publicity dies down and the governor signs the bills that passed the House and Senate into law, what happens to the successful bills that received so much attention? Here's an update on some of these bills which went into effect on July 1.

Legislation I was extremely pleased to sponsor creates a state debt of $30,000 to help move and restore the Old Wallville School -- the oldest existing African-American school left in Calvert County.

Ron Clark, president of the Friends of the Old Wallville School, Inc., the group responsible for matching the state's contribution, reports that his committee has done quite a bit since Governor Glendening signed the bond bill into law in May.

Already, the committee has received nearly $10,000 in donations and is receiving money for the project almost every day. That means the Friends have raised 1/3 of their matching obligation in a very short time. Also, the committee is conducting interviews of county residents who attended the Old Wallville School. Thanks to a lawyer who is doing pro bono work for the committee, Friends of the Old Wallville School should soon have non-profit 501 status.

If you want to help with this project or donate money, write to Friends of the Old Wallville School, Inc.; P.O. Box 2848; Prince Frederick, MD 20678. Address your correspondence to Guffrie Smith, treasurer of the committee.

Another successful bond bill I co-sponsored called for $50,00 to go towards the $120,000 restoration of the historic William B. Tennison boat docked at the Calvert Marine Museum. The $50,000 will help rebuild the ship's pilot house and engine as well as replacing 12 rotten frames in the boat's stern. The renovation work is expected to begin in November after the boat is traditionally docked for the winter. Museum officials expect the boat to ready to transport passengers when the season gets underway in May.

A couple of weeks ago, I let you know that I was very excited and determined to see the creation of a farmer's market in Charlotte Hall that was safe for both the seller and buyer of some of Southern Maryland's finest farm products. With the swift help of the county public works, Donna Sasser with the county's agricultural department, Public Works, the State Highway Administration, the Maryland Department of Agriculture and our Amish friends, this farmer's market is going to be a reality. A grand opening is set for July 24. Come out and support our local farmers. Already, eight Amish farmers, who have been selling their produce along the shoulders of some of Southern Maryland's busiest roads and highways have agreed to sell their produce at the farmer's market. This will be a much safer place for the Amish then along the side of the road, selling by themselves and in danger of having someone come up and steal from them as has happened recently.

This is also the last week for you to fax, e-mail or write us about any concerns or solutions you may have about our court system. The final meeting of the Committee on Public Trust and Confidence of which I am member will be held July 20 in Annapolis. I look forward to receiving your input.

And finally, two years after my bill to provide our area's many animal lovers with "pet friendly" license plates became law, we will soon see those plates on our roads. The Motor Vehicle Administration is currently producing the plates and they should soon be available for sale at animal shelters, welfare leagues and other organizations that save unwanted pets from demise. The money raised by the sale of these special license plates will go towards spay and neutering programs offered by the area shelters and pet-friendly organizations.

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