Maryland General Assembly 2019 | WYPR

Maryland General Assembly 2019

Shaneka Henson

Shaneka Henson was sworn in on Thursday to the Maryland House of Delegates, where she occupies the seat held by House Speaker Michael Busch until he died last month. Henson is the first African American woman to represent the district in the General Assembly.

State of Maryland

The Maryland House of Delegates set two historic precedents Wednesday, when it selected Baltimore County Delegate Adrienne Jones to be Speaker of the House.

Jones is the first woman, and first African American to become speaker, one of the most powerful political positions in the state.

Rachel Baye

The race for speaker of the House of Delegates has narrowed. Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones announced at a press conference Friday that she is dropping out of the running and backing Economic Matters Committee Chairman Dereck Davis in an effort to elect Maryland’s first African American speaker. Both Davis and Jones are African American.

Rachel Baye

 

State Democratic Party Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings issued a warning this week:  When the House of Delegates elects a new speaker on Wednesday, Democratic members need to unite behind a single candidate for speaker, or else lose access to state party tools and resources.

Cummings was responding to an announcement by House Republicans that they plan to maximize the strength of their 42 votes by uniting behind one of the three Democrats vying for the position.

AP

Mike Busch, Maryland’s long time Speaker of the House of Delegates, was eulogized at his funeral yesterday as an outstanding Marylander, a dedicated public servant and a fearless advocate for the causes he believed in.

During the service at St. John Neumann Church in Annapolis, Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, recalled his last phone conversation with Busch shortly before the speaker’s death April 7 at the age of 72.

Rachel Baye

The late Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch arrived at the State House Monday for the last time. Busch died on April 7 at the age of 72.

John Lee

A tax increase in Baltimore County is now a foregone conclusion. That’s according to County Council Chairman Tom Quirk, who said the tax increase has to happen because the General Assembly did not deliver additional school construction money to the county.

 

 

 

 

The funeral for Michael Busch, the longest serving speaker of Maryland’s House of Delegates, has been scheduled at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 16, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church on Bestgate Road in Annapolis, a spokesman for the family has announced.

Busch, who was 72, died Sunday after having undergone treatments for pneumonia.

His death cast a pall over the usually frantic, celebratory last day of the General Assembly session. In an unusual move, both Houses stopped work at 11:30 Monday evening, a half hour early, for a joint session to honor the late speaker.

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly wrapped up its 439th session Monday night in Annapolis, and for the first time since 2003, Michael Busch wasn’t overseeing the House of Delegates as speaker. Busch died Sunday at the age of 72 after he was hospitalized with pneumonia.

The frenzied, celebratory atmosphere that’s typical on the last day of the General Assembly’s 90-day session was marred by Busch’s absence.

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly voted Monday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill prohibiting oyster harvesting in five Chesapeake Bay tributaries — Harris Creek, the Little Choptank River, the Tred Avon River, the St. Mary’s River and the Manokin River.

Rachel Baye

Statements of grief and sympathy at the death of House Speaker Michael Busch came quickly from both sides of the political aisle and all around the state.

"My heart is broken for Mike Busch’s family, the State of Maryland, and the Speaker's extended family - elected officials and staff that he has been a mentor and coach to over his time in public service," Senate President Mike Miller wrote in a statement.

Rachel Baye

The death Sunday of Michael Busch, Maryland's longest serving Speaker of the House of Delegates, has cast a pall over Maryland’s General Assembly as it rushes toward its adjournment at midnight Monday.

Reports of his death at the age of 72 brought a flood of fond memories from his friends and colleagues in the State House as well as others who have known the former high school teacher and football coach for years.

Rachel Baye

The House of Delegates voted along party lines Friday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill prohibiting oyster harvesting in five Chesapeake Bay tributaries — Harris Creek, the Little Choptank River, the Tred Avon River, the St. Mary’s River and the Manokin River.

Wikimedia Commons

The House passed and the Senate gave initial approval on Wednesday to legislation that would reshape the board of directors at the University of Maryland Medical System and prevent board members from using their positions for personal financial gain. The bills are the result of recent revelations that the hospital awarded its board members — including Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh — hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts.  WYPR state politics reporter Rachel Baye discussed the effort with Nathan Sterner.

Rachel Baye

The state Senate has given preliminary approval to legislation aimed at tamping down on prescription drug costs. But the Senate version is significantly weaker than the version that passed the House last month.

Rachel Baye

The state Senate gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill that aims to reshape the way Maryland approaches public education.

Maryland’s General Assembly heads into the last full week of its 90-day session with a number of issues yet to be resolved, including legislation that would strip trash incinerators of their “green energy” label and  bills to raise the legal smoking age to 21 and to forbid members of the University of Maryland Medical System’s board of directors from doing business with the system.

Gov. Larry Hogan introduced his bill to redraw the state’s Sixth and Eighth Congressional Districts Friday, but the Democratic leaders who drew the original districts don’t appear to be receptive to the Republican governor’s plan.

Maryland will be the sixth state to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour after the General Assembly voted Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the legislation. It’s one of two vetoes the General Assembly voted mostly along party lines to override, and a third veto is expected to be overridden Friday.

Wikimedia Commons

The House of Delegates voted Wednesday to reprimand Baltimore County Del. Jay Jalisi after an investigation by the legislature’s Ethics Committee found a pattern of abusive behavior toward General Assembly staff. Jalisi, a Democrat representing the west part of the county, denies the accusations, calling it a “political hit job.”

It’s a safe bet that the conflict of interest controversy over the University of Maryland Medical System doing business with members of its board of directors will suck up much of the energy in Annapolis as the General Assembly begins its two week sprint to  adjournment at midnight April 8.

A House of Delegates committee heard testimony Friday on an emergency bill introduced by Speaker Mike Busch aimed at keeping board members from doing business with the medical system. And a Senate committee heard testimony on a similar bill from Baltimore Democrat Jill Carter two weeks ago. Both bills appear to have solid bi-partisan support.

Rachel Baye

University of Maryland Medical System leaders met Wednesday afternoon with Gov. Larry Hogan and state Senate President Mike Miller to discuss hundreds of thousands of dollars in business deals between the hospital and its board members.

Board Chairman Stephen Burch said a board meeting Thursday will determine next steps and ways to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Rachel Baye

Monday was Crossover Day in the State House. Any legislation that had not passed in either the House or the Senate and crossed over to the other chamber by the end of the day faces a tougher road to becoming law. WYPR’s State Politics Reporter Rachel Baye talks with Nathan Sterner about some of the things that made the cut and some that did not.

Wikimedia Commons/Flickr

Legislation requiring Maryland to get half of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2030 gained initial approval in the state Senate on Tuesday. The most recent version of the bill would no longer allow trash incineration to be considered a clean energy source.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan took aim on Monday at the job legislators are doing, focusing in particular on efforts to raise the minimum wage and to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more on schools.

Monday is cross-over day in the General Assembly, the day when bills must cross from one house to the other to be guaranteed full consideration.

In addition, Democratic Party leaders are rushing to get controversial bills, such as the minimum wage increase to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk in time to force an override vote before the end of session, or before Sen. Will Smith, a Montgomery County Democrat who is in the Navy Reserve, leaves for duty in Afghanistan.

Still, there are some things happening in committees this week, and some bills have already made it from one chamber to the other.

Rachel Baye

Members of the Maryland General Assembly are rushing to meet a legislative deadline Monday, which is known as Crossover Day in Annapolis. Any bills that have not passed in one chamber and “crossed over” to the other by the end of the day will face an additional hurdle and are less likely to become law this year.

This is the latest on some of the issues lawmakers are grappling with this year.

Minimum Wage

Rachel Baye

A bill increasing Maryland’s minimum wage passed the state Senate along party lines Thursday with enough Democratic votes to override a potential veto by Gov. Larry Hogan. The legislation would gradually raise the wage to $15 an hour by January 2025 for most businesses.

Rachel Baye

The Maryland General Assembly is on the verge of passing a $15 minimum wage. The House of Delegates approved it two weeks ago, and on Wednesday night, the state Senate gave the bill preliminary approval. WYPR's State Politics Reporter Rachel Baye speaks with Nathan Sterner to take a closer look at the proposal.

Wikimedia Commons

Legislation authorizing Johns Hopkins University to establish its own police force progressed in the state Senate on Wednesday.

Rachel Baye

Thousands of teachers, parents and students marched in Annapolis Monday night, seeking more funding for public schools. The march, which was organized by the Maryland State Education Association teachers union, culminated in the largest rally at the State House in recent memory. 

Organizers say 200 buses carried teachers from across the state, as far as Garrett County in Western Maryland, about three hours away. They estimate that there were about 8,500 people filling the streets, many of them wearing red beanies and carrying red cowbells and signs.

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