- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland measure to help stop fraud and abuse in state and local government has passed the state Senate.

The Senate voted 46-1 Tuesday for the Maryland False Claims Act.

The bill is designed to help whistleblowers and encourage them to tell the government about fraud committed by private contractors.

The measure would allow state and local employees and others to file lawsuits on behalf of governments. Whistleblowers would receive a portion of funds recovered through litigation they help start. They also would be protected against on-the-job retaliation.

The state currently has a limited version of the false claims law. It applies to cases of Medicaid and health-care related fraud. Supporters say the state has recovered an average of $28 million a year for the past two years under it.

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