Washington County's state lawmakers Wednesday reviewed a draft bill that would add new oversight to the finances of the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.
The association didn't have a chance to weigh in on the proposal, so the delegation tabled further discussion on the bill until next week.
The delegation is expected to vote then on whether to submit the bill during this year's legislative session.
The bill would force the association to submit financial reports and proposed budgets to the county and get approval from the Washington County Board of Commissioners before distributing any money to its member fire and rescue companies.
It also lets the county impose other restrictions or requirements on the association.
By law, in Washington County, proceeds from tip-jar gaming are split 50-50 between the association and local nonprofit organizations.
A series of Herald-Mail stories has raised questions about how the association uses and distributes its half of the tip-jar money.
Del. Andrew A. Serafini, the delegation chairman, and Sen. Christopher B. Shank helped draft a bill that would improve accountability and transparency.
The county commissioners have said they support such a bill.
The other 50 percent of the county's tip-jar revenue is distributed, in a more tightly regulated process, to nonprofit organizations that apply for them.
The fire and rescue association received a copy of the draft bill this week, D. Bruce Poole, an attorney who represents the association, said Wednesday.
Association officials plan to meet on Friday to talk about it, Poole said.
During a Washington County delegation meeting in Annapolis on Wednesday, Kirk C. Downey, an assistant county attorney, suggested one other change to the gaming law.
He said the definition of a gaming device currently refers to coins or tokens, but should also include a phrase covering other forms of payment.