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Senate limits bills to be considered

If there was any question about how focused the General Assembly special session would be on gambling, the question was answered when the Senate convened Thursday morning.

Senators introduced 21 bills in the chamber’s opening session, 17 of which were assigned to the Rules Committee, a Senate panel where legislation is often put in a drawer to never be read again.

A handful of the bills dealt with environmental issues. Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D-Baltimore, who chairs the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, said on the floor that she’d be happy to take a look at those bills during the 2013 regular session.

“[The committee] has no intention on meeting,” she told senators.

Only Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gambling bill, legislation to counteract a court ruling concerning pit bulls and a pair of local gambling bills were assigned to committees where hearings will be conducted.

SB 10 would repeal a restriction on organizations in Dorchester County holding a “carnival, bazaar or raffle” on Sundays. SB 19, titled “Carroll County – Gaming” was also introduced, but the bill’s text is not yet available. Both bills are assigned to the Budget and Taxation Committee.