May 26, 2005

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, today I have vetoed Senate Bill 716 - Community Health Care Access and Safety Net Act of 2005.

This bill alters the eligibility requirements of the Maryland Pharmacy Discount Program to cover individuals who are not Medicare beneficiaries, who lack other public or private prescription drug coverage, who have a specified annual household income, and to exclude Medicare beneficiaries. Moreover, Senate Bill 716 establishes the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission as an independent commission that functions within the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and also establishes the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission Fund. House Bill 627, 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 716.

Very truly yours,
Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.