May 26, 2005

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, today I have vetoed House Bill 1334 - Agriculture - Critical Farms Program.

This bill requires the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation and the Department of Planning to establish a Critical Farms Program to provide specified financing for the acquisition of specified agricultural preservation easements on specified farms. It also requires a county to determine if a property qualifies for the Program in accordance with specified criteria developed by the Foundation and the Department. Finally, it requires the Foundation and the Department to conduct a specified study and submit a report. Senate Bill 502, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me, accomplishes the same purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign House Bill 1334.

Very truly yours,
Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.