Senators Have Their Own Kind of Fun with Smoking Bill Amendments

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Maybe because they knew they had to bite the bullet and play it pretty straight to combat a 23 percent increase to judges’ salaries, the Maryland Senate engaged in some screwball maneuvering regarding a bill that would ban smoking in a car with a child 8 years old or younger.

Sen. John Astle, who considers the bill a slippery slope, proposed an amendment intended to make the bill even less attractive, lowering its chance of passing. Oddly enough, his amendment — to raise the age from 8 to sixteen — passed 24-19 on Friday. Then, just before recess and without further debate, Sen. Bill Ferguson, who voted yea on the amendment the first time around, motioned to reconsider it. On the second vote it was defeated 19-25.

Is this how legislators unwind? With joke-voting? Were multiple senators in on it? I’ll probably never know. Thankfully, it’s not really all that important.

By the way, the Senate approved the bill last night, with no goofy amendments.



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