May 22, 2003

The Honorable Michael E. Busch
Speaker of the House of Delegates
State House
Annapolis MD 21401

Dear Mr. Speaker:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, today I have vetoed House Bill 862 - Criminal Procedure - Counterfeiting of Orders for Money or Goods - Concurrent Jurisdiction of Trial Courts.

Under current law a felony must be charged and tried in a circuit court unless there is an explicit provision granting the District Court concurrent jurisdiction over the matter. Counterfeiting orders for money or goods is a felony with a penalty of not less than 2 and not more than 10 years' imprisonment. This bill would grant the District Court jurisdiction over these cases.

Senate Bill 400, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me, accomplishes the same purpose. SB 400 is a broader bill and provides that the District Court and circuit courts have concurrent jurisdiction in all felony and misdemeanor cases involving counterfeiting, forgery, and credit card offenses. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign House Bill 862.

Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.