Office of the Governor:
Governor Ehrlich Signs Landmark Environmental Bills
In a bill signing ceremony that began aboard The Pride of Baltimore II, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., today signed 127 pieces of legislation into law including the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, which is the most significant environmental initiative in more than 30 years. Under the Governor’s bill, the fund will generate the revenue needed to upgrade 66 treatment plants throughout Maryland.
“The action taken today begins a new era in Bay conservation efforts,” said Governor Ehrlich. “This bill reflects a significant step forward that will result in a cleaner, safer, healthier Bay. I applaud members of the General Assembly for actions that will make future generations proud to call Maryland home of the Chesapeake Bay.”
In addition, Governor Ehrlich signed his nutrient management legislation, which encourages - rather than penalizes - farmers who participate voluntarily in the restoration of the Bay. The Governor’s plan will effectively lower out-of-pocket costs for farmers, reduce the amount of paperwork for participation in the nutrient management program and increase access to nutrient management assistance.
“As stewards of the Bay, farmers play a crucial role in Maryland’s agricultural community,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Together, we will share the role of rebuilding a stronger, cleaner Bay.”
Other bills signed into law include:
House Bill 1139 - Establishes a program within the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to provide educational services in all DJS residential facilities by 2012.
Senate Bill 767 - Focuses on Governor Ehrlich’s “child-first” approach by requiring that all youth, upon discharge from a DJS residential program, have a step-down aftercare plan.
“I made an early commitment to strengthen the Department of Education’s involvement with children in the care of the Department of Juvenile Services,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Today, we take significant steps toward that goal. Under Secretary Montague’s leadership, these children will have greater access to critical aftercare services that will ease their return to their communities.”
A complete list of bills signed into law can be found at www.gov.state.md.us/billsignings2004.html.
Posted May 26, 2004