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Holocaust disclosure bill passes Senate committee

The Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee didn’t waste any time with the bill seeking disclosure of and an apology for the activities a potential MARC operator undertook during the Holocaust.

The bill, SB 479 and its House twin, HB 520, which together carry 45 sponsors, would require SNCF to disclose whether it has records relating to the deportation of people to concentration camps, where the records are kept, what property it has that was taken during the deportation and how it disposed of the property.

SNCF is the majority shareholder in Keolis America, which, through a subsidiary, is seeking the contract to operate a pair of MARC lines.

The Senate committee heard the bill Thursday evening and voted later that night. It passed 11-0.

Chairwoman Joan Carter Conway, D-Baltimore city, said such quick action on bills isn’t unusual in cases where there is little or no disagreement among committee members.

SNCF and Keolis “didn’t have an argument,” said Conway, who sponsored the Senate version of the bill. “They didn’t answer any questions and when they did, they were conflicting.”

The House Health and Government Operations Committee held a hearing on the bill as well on Thursday, where executives from SNCF America and Keolis Rail Services America were battered by lawmakers unimpressed by their excuses.