- The Washington Times - Monday, September 2, 2002

BALTIMORE (AP) Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend pledged $30 million to Baltimore's drug-treatment programs if she becomes governor.
Mrs. Townsend announced the plan Saturday at the Believe Day festival at Druid Hill Park, where she gave a short speech to a largely black audience.
"We know that when we get good treatment, we get good results," said Mrs. Townsend, a Democrat, adding that her brother David died of an overdose in 1984.
Mrs. Townsend's $30 million pledge, which is likely to boost her appeal with city voters, would increase state funding for city drug treatment by about 60 percent.
Mayor Martin O'Malley, who had considered running for governor against Mrs. Townsend, welcomed the announcement.
"I think it's great," he said. "That would be a big, big help to Baltimore and Maryland in reducing drug addiction."
Baltimore is slated to receive $48 million in fiscal 2003, according to Mrs. Townsend's office.
Her proposal is to add money during a three-year period starting in fiscal 2005.
She did not say how she would raise that money or in what increments she would include it in each budget.
Mrs. Townsend's Republican challenger, Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., also has said money for drug treatment is a major theme of his campaign.
He has not issued a specific plan but said money for drug treatment would be reflected in a budget blueprint he plans to release this month.
He said it would be "irresponsible" for him to name a dollar figure before his staff had balanced that blueprint.
Mr. Ehrlich criticized Mrs. Townsend for promising $30 million when the state faces a nearly $1 billion deficit.
"We are really concerned about the numbers that are piling up under her watch," he said.


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