The Honorable Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.
President of the Senate
State House
Annapolis MD 21401

Dear Mr. President:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed Senate Bill 243 - Criminal Injuries Compensation - Claimants and Awards.

This bill allows a parent, child or spouse of a crime victim who resides with the victim and who is eligible for an award as a result of the injury to the victim to be eligible for mental health counseling compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. The bill establishes limits for such compensation and allows the fund to make awards up to $250 to repair, replace or clean property damaged or soiled in a crime.

In addition the bill expands the definition of crime under criminal injuries compensation provisions to include the motor vehicle crimes of "hit and run" and "fleeing and eluding." The bill also eliminates the standard of "serious financial hardship" by which the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board grants awards and updates, as specified, the applicable schedule of benefits for disability awards by the Board.

House Bill 504, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me, accomplishes the same purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign Senate Bill 243.

Parris N. Glendening