May 26, 2004

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

Dear Mr. Speaker:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed House Bill 634 - Criminal Law - Extortion - Damages and Penalties.

This bill prohibits a person, with the intent to unlawfully extort money, property, or anything of value, from falsely accusing, verbally threatening to accuse, or knowingly sending a writing threatening to accuse another of a crime or of anything that, if true, would tend to bring the other into contempt or disrepute. It also prohibits a person from verbally threatening or knowingly sending a writing threatening to cause physical injury or economic damage to a person, inflict emotional distress on a person, or cause damage to the property of a person.

Senate Bill 353, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me on April 27, 2004, accomplishes the same purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign House Bill 634.

Very truly yours,
Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.