WHO HAS ENOUGH VOTES: Del. Maggie L. McIntosh (D-Baltimore City) sought to retake momentum in the race for speaker of the House on Tuesday, saying she has the votes needed to win. She issued a caution to Democratic colleagues tempted to partner with Republican lawmakers, saying that doing so would be “very damaging” to the state Democratic Party and its agenda, reports Bruce DePuyt for Maryland Matters.
- McIntosh said she has enough votes to win a majority of the 98-member Democratic Caucus, and believes that many of Davis’ supporters will flip to her in the official vote by the full House during Wednesday’s special legislative session, Pamela Wood and Luke Broadwater of the Sun report.
- But Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s) says he has the votes to win, from a minority of Democrats but also from Republicans, who hold about 30% of House seats. He said he will rely on support from both sides of the aisle in his quest to become the first African American House speaker in state history, Erin Cox reports in the Post.
- McIntosh vowed to become the “education speaker” and to find funding for Kirwan Commission education recommendations and billions in school construction for the coming session, Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports. She also vowed to continue to expand the party’s seats in Annapolis, raising money and campaigning in future elections — as she did in 2018 —for Democrats.
PROGRESSIVES WARN DEMS WHO SIDE WITH DAVIS: On the eve of the House vote to select a new speaker, a coalition of progressive groups has mounted a last-ditch campaign to keep Democrats from siding with Republicans on the House floor – and is taking early steps to run Democratic primary challengers in 2022 against those who do, Josh Kurtz reports in Maryland Matters.
GENERATIONAL, IDEOLOGICAL SPLIT: The competition between Dels. Maggie McIntosh and Dereck Davis for speaker of the House has divided the House Democratic Caucus and the influential Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland along ideological, generational and geographical lines, with many older and more centrist lawmakers — especially from Prince George’s — backing Davis, and the more liberal and younger flank of the chamber supporting McIntosh, writes Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins of the Post.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Danielle Gaines of Maryland Matters writes that just 21 of the 140 current members of the House of Delegates were in the chamber the last time a new speaker was elected. So this is an unfamiliar process for almost everyone. So what can we expect will happen when the House party caucuses meet at 10 a.m. today?
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT DAVIS, McINTOSH: The Sun’s Luke Broadwater and Pamela Wood offer up five facts about Maggie McIntosh that you may not have known, including that she is an “Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay.”
- And they also offer five interesting facts about Dereck Davis, including that Michael Busch plucked Davis from relative obscurity to lead the Economic Matters Committee — Busch’s old committee — when Busch became speaker in 2003.
WHY DAVIS WOULD LOSE: In an analysis for Maryland Matters, Josh Kurtz writes that if Del. Dereck Davis (D-Prince George’s) loses his bid to become speaker of the Maryland house, it won’t be because he’s black. Some of Davis’ African-American colleagues may try to advance that narrative anyway. If Davis does lose, the seeds of his defeat may have been sown when he voted against marriage equality in 2012. Or when his House Economic Matters Committee slow-walked and watered down minimum wage and paid family sick leave legislation. Or when he introduced a bill that would make state law take pre-eminence over local minimum wage bills, and cozied up to the many industry lobbyists who regularly populate his committee hearing room.
IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE: The House Republican Caucus passed along this clip from the Jan. 15, 1953 Baltimore Sun by Charles Whiteford, datelined Jan. 14: “Republicans finally stepped in today, and straightened out the organizational mess the Democrats had been unable to resolve in eight days of trying, by joining with a minority of Democrats to elect George W. Della (D., Baltimore, Sixth) Senate president for another term.” Della, father of the Baltimore senator of the same name, was elected on the 78th vote over Howard County Sen. Ferdinand Sybert, a former speaker of the House of Delegates who became attorney general the next year.
174 BILLS SIGNED: Gov. Larry Hogan signed 174 bills into law on Tuesday, including Stacey’s Law, which will allow prosecutors to charge a person who solicits murder to be found guilty of murder if a death occurs and an upgrade to Maryland’s 9-1-1 system, reports Danielle Gaines in Maryland Matters.
- Guinness and Maryland’s craft brewers successfully lobbied lawmakers this year to increase the 3,000 barrel serving limit — up to 5,000 barrels, or roughly 1.25 million pints — and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill into law Tuesday. It will go into effect July 1, reports Pamela Wood in the Sun.
- A separate bill that takes effect Jan. 1 makes significant changes to a 25-year-old law that craft brewers complained kept them locked into agreements with distributors even if those contracts were detrimental to their business, Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports.
- Gale and Michael Seaton of Bowie lost their 17-year-old daughter Stacey in 2005, and they turned their grief into action that led them to stand behind the state’s most powerful leaders Tuesday as they signed the bill into law, Rachael Pacella of the Annapolis Capital reports.
EX-AIDE TO DELEGATE FINED FOR ROBOCALL: A Baltimore County judge on Tuesday imposed a $1,000 fine against a former aide to state Del. Rick Impallaria for making illegal robocalls against fellow Republican Del. Kathy Szeliga, who is a member of the state’s GOP leadership.
- Tyler Walch, chief of staff to Impallaria, R-Baltimore and Harford, was convicted by Baltimore County District Court Judge Philip N. Tirabassi and received the maximum $1,000 fine, according to a news release from the Office of the State Prosecutor, Heather Cobun of the Daily Record writes.
BALTIMORE CITY OFF KILTER: Even as Jack Young, the Baltimore city council president who has replaced Mayor Catherine Pugh on a temporary basis, has won plaudits for bringing a measure of stability to the government, some say they fear longer-range effects of having an interim mayor, Jean Marbella and Ian Duncan write in the Sun. Baltimore, with its many needs and its strong-mayor form of governance, can’t operate indefinitely without clarity on who will serve out Pugh’s term through the end of next year, observers say.
RASKIN ON CANCER, MEDICARE FOR ALL: U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin delivered an impassioned plea for Medicare for All legislation on Tuesday, recalling his battle with colon cancer nearly a decade ago. He was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, for which he underwent radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. He had a “great health insurance plan,” at the time, he said. But, he said he couldn’t imagine his fellow citizens “going through such a trauma” without insurance. Raskin said the experience taught him about the difference between misfortune and injustice, Robin Bravender writes for Maryland Matters.
KAMALA HARRIS’s MYSTERIOUS CAMPAIGN OFFICE: Jeff Barker of the Sun goes looking for Sen. Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign office in Baltimore and finds that it isn’t so easy to find.