May 25, 2004
The Honorable Michael E. Busch
Speaker of the House of Delegates
Annapolis, MD 21401-1991
Dear Mr. Speaker:
In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, today I have vetoed House Bill 351 - Maryland Health Care Foundation and Maryland Health Care Trust.
House Bill 351 repeals the Maryland Health Care Foundation and establishes the Maryland Health Care Trust, to which the value of public or charitable assets must be distributed if a nonprofit health service plan or health maintenance organization is acquired. The bill designates the State Treasurer as its trustee. The Health Care Foundation must transfer all foundation and Medbank records to the Maryland State Archives and transfer all furniture and equipment to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene by June 1, 2004.
On May 11, 2004, I signed into law Chapter 262 of the Acts of the General Assembly of 2004 - Maryland Health Care Foundation and Maryland Health Care Trust. While similar to House Bill 351, Chapter 262 transfers all funds remaining in the General Investment Account of the Maryland Health Care Foundation as of June 1, 2004, to Medbank of Maryland, Inc. Transferring these remaining resources to Medbank, rather than to the Maryland Health Care Trust, as stipulated in House Bill 351, will allow for increased access to prescription medicines for Marylanders who qualify for this important program.
For the above stated reasons, I have vetoed House Bill 351.
Very truly yours,
Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.