214 MARYLAND MANUAL
Several important bills altered the tax program of the State in
order to provide an additional $10,000,000 to the local subdivisions to
help the counties and Baltimore City finance their education and wel-
fare programs. This method of appropriation permits each subdivision
to determine its most essential needs for the funds. To implement this,
a uniform tax of 6 cents per pack on cigarettes was imposed, and the
sales and use tax base was lowered from 50 cents to 25 cents and its
The 1960 census entitled Maryland to an additional Representative
in Congress. An Act was passed to create an Eighth Congressional
District, comprising Howard and Prince George's Counties, and to
revise the present boundaries of the Third and Fifth Districts. This
Act must be submitted by referendum to the voters in 1962.
Another controversial bill which was passed by the General Assem-
bly of 1961 was signed by the Governor revised the unemployment
compensation laws. It increased the maximum amount payable to an
unemployed individual and, at the same time, tightened requirements
for eligibility. This Act must also be submitted to the voters in 1962.
Important revisions were made by the Legislature of 1961 in the
organization of certain State agencies. The Patuxent Institution was
made independent of the Department of Correction. A Board of Health
and Mental Hygiene was created to coordinate the activities of the two
original departments. The office of Commissioner of the Depart-
ment of Motor Vehicles was included within the State Merit System.
The Legislature also passed a bill to extend the Department's driver
education program to a wider range of high school students.
Important local measures included an Act to establish a Metropoli-
tan Transit Authority for the Baltimore metropolitan area. The Legis-
lature also passed several bills granting authority to counties and
municipalities to carry out urban renewal programs.
The budget bill, as proposed by the Governor and enacted by the
General Assembly, was the largest in the history of the State. It
appropriated $252,919,174 in general funds, $178,283,383 in special
funds, and $93,337,282 in federal funds, making a total budget of
$624,539,839. In addition, a State debt of $18,180,000 was authorized
for building construction.
Proposed legislation to enact two of the most thoroughly debated
issues of the 1961 Session failed. These were reapportionment of the
State Legislative Districts to conform to current population, and
referenda on slot machines now operated in four counties of Maryland.
A proposal to increase taxes on beer to provide additional State
revenue also failed.
CHAIRMEN OF COMMITTEES, REGULAR SESSION, 1961
Rules: George W. Della
Agriculture and Natural Resources: Robert P. Dean
Aviation, Roads, and Transportation: Walter B. Dorsey
Banking, Insurance, and Social Security: John-Clarence North
Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries: Louis N. Phipps
City Senators: J. Raymond Buffington, Jr.
Education: Mary L. Nock
Elections: Joseph V. Mach
Entertainment: Samuel W. Barrick
Executive Nominations: James A. Pine