In a tradition that goes back at least a dozen years, members of the State House press corps gathered at half past midnight on April 9 after an unusually somber Sine Die. We had just marked the first session in 17 years without Michael Busch wielding the speaker’s gavel, ending with a memorial joint session of House and Senate. It was a pretty robust year for State House reporting, though the session was fairly tame.
In New Hampshire speech, Gov. Larry Hogan criticizes President Trump, saying he attempted “to obstruct justice,” slams RNC for loyalty to Trump, but says he is still testing the waters in primary challenge to him; however, Hogan is mastering the details of a presidential candidate; Republican members of the House of Delegates seek leverage as Dems weigh next Speaker; meanwhile, progressive groups urge Dems to stick to Dem caucus pick; Baltimore acting Mayor Young says he would “hate to see” Mayor Pugh return from leave; charity that helped Pugh secure $80,000 in Healthy Holly book sales set to receive $14 million in city contracts; Frederick County seeks ways to preserve farms and farmland; and Baltimore Sun reporters seeking pay raises.
The ACLU, Common Cause and 15 other progressive groups and unions are asking the candidates for speaker of the House of Delegates to answer a questionnaire that commits them to greater openness in the legislative process and to term limits for the speaker and committee chairs.The twelve-part questionnaire raises many of the issues that have long troubled witnesses, advocates, lobbyists and journalists about how the legislature operates.
For some taxpayers in Democratic states like Maryland with high state personal income taxes, the federal tax changes in 2018 have produced lower refunds on their state and federal tax returns.
Alder, willow and sycamore saplings in plastic tubes line a portion of the stream. Steve Derrenbacher, a veterinarian and third-generation farmer, said they’d like to add more streamside trees and even permanently preserve the entire 148 acres their family has owned since 1942. But their conservation hopes are on hold, because the federal program that would pay them to extend the forest buffer is not taking any new applicants right now.
Del. Alice Cain of Annapolis, one of eight Democrats to take a seat held by a Republican, reflects on her first session and on the death of Speaker Mike Busch, who shared the two-member district with her. “I was thinking how much I’m going to miss him, how much the State House is going to miss him, and how much the community of Annapolis is going to miss him,” she said. “It was great to see him in action here myself.”
The easy part of this legislature’s four-year term is over.By most standards, this 90 days was fairly smooth, especially when it comes to money matters, which are often the most contentious.
For 17 sessions since 2003, two constants for the final day were the two Mikes. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr, president of the Maryland Senate whom at MarylandReporter.com we call simply Mike Miller, and Michael Erin Busch, speaker of the House of Delegates.Now Busch is gone, dead Sunday afternoon after a series of medical problems. Until two years ago, he was a vigorous, energetic, athletic man in firm command of an unruly bunch of 141 who called him “coach.” Here is a photo album with some remembrances.
Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent attempts to acquire land from the federal government for a Redskins stadium and to expand the Baltimore-Washington Parkway have led to yet another effort to limit the power of the Board of Public Works made up of the governor, comptroller and state treasurer. The bill passed the House of Delegates Thursday in a party-line vote after lengthy floor debate.
Lawmakers have put SB1030, dubbed The Education Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, on a fast track. It would infuse an additional $725 million into public schools over the next two years.
Time is ticking down on the largest school construction bill in Maryland history.With just five days until the end of the General Assembly session April 8, the Senate has yet to pass HB727, dubbed the Build to Learn Act, which would provide an additional $2.2 billion for school construction, divvying up the bulk of the funding to the state’s largest counties.