Hogan signs more than 220 bills into law

Hogan signs more than 220 bills into law

Gov. Larry Hogan signed more than 220 bills into law on Tuesday (Screenshot)

@BryanRenbaum

Gov. Larry Hogan signed more than 220 bills passed by the General Assembly into law on Tuesday, including measures that repeal Maryland’s pro-Confederate state song, legalize sports betting, and extend the authorization for off-the-premises alcohol delivery for two years.

The bill signing took place at an afternoon ceremony at the State House. The governor was accompanied by Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones. Both lawmakers are Democrats.

“I want to thank the presiding officers and legislators on both sides of the aisle. I think it was a really good session,” Hogan said.

Hogan called Maryland, Maryland-a song based on an 1861 poem by James Ryder Randall that has been the state song since 1939 and is sung to the melody of the Christmas song O Tannenbaum- “a relic of the Confederacy that is clearly outdated and out-of-touch.”

Ferguson noted that the ceremony marked the first time in more than a year that the three leaders were able to gather without having to wear masks.

“I want to thank Marylanders for doing what it took to get through this crisis. It is not over. There is still a long way to go. But we are seeing the emerging promise of tomorrow… I want to thank Marylanders for their continued vigilance throughout this.”

Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate sunk to its lowest level on record since the beginning of the pandemic on Tuesday at 2.23%. And as of Tuesday two-thirds of Marylanders have received at least one dose of the vaccine. However, Baltimore officials reported 40 percent of the population has been vaccinated so the mask mandate is still in place.

Jones, for her part, noted that the legislative session was historic for its focus on racial equity issues.

“This year we specifically looked at legislation through the lens of inclusion.”

Also at Tuesday’s ceremony, Hogan said that the State House will be reopened to the general public on Friday for the first time in more than a year.

Following the ceremony, the three leaders elaborated on that announcement in a joint statement.

“We are pleased to announce that the Maryland State House will reopen to the public this Friday. Health screening protocols will be in place for visitors, and information on how to get vaccinated will be available.  The State House is one of the great and enduring symbols of our democracy. Throughout the crises of the last year, the work that goes on inside the building has continued, and the fundamental values of freedom and equality that it honors have become even more important to preserve. We look forward to welcoming Marylanders and visitors back to our iconic State House.”

Members of the general public can visit the State House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

During this year’s legislative session access to the State House was largely limited to lawmakers, staff, and members of media.

During a normal year, the State House is bustling with activity from citizen activists, lobbyists, and tourists.

About The Author

Bryan Renbaum

Bryan@MarylandReporter.com

Reporter Bryan Renbaum served as the Capitol Hill Correspondent for Talk Media News for the past three-and-a-half years, filing print, radio and video reports on the Senate and the House of Representatives. He covered congressional reaction to the inauguration of President Donald Trump as well as the confirmation hearings of attorneys general Jeff Sessions and William Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He also filed breaking news reports on the 2017 shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others. Previously Bryan broke multiple stories with the Baltimore Post-Examiner including sexual assault scandals at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a texting scandal on the women’s lacrosse team at that school for which he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He also covered the Maryland General Assembly during the 2016 legislative session as an intern for Maryland Reporter. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from McDaniel College. If you have additional questions or comments contact Bryan at: bryan@marylandreporter.com

1 Comment

  1. Brian hildenbrand

    This is a historic event, yes sir it is. Gov. Hogan, you and your government reps can talk the talk, but can you/reps/police/courts/prisons, walk the walk. Enforce the bills, hire QUALIFIED Marylanders to police these bills. If not, you just waisted sooooo much government time and money. Speaking of money, no more unemployment bonus after 1 June 2021. Put these loafing workers back to work and stop hand feeding them with my/our tax money. Unemployment + bonus didn’t go to child support, food, RENT, but definitely paid for that cell phone and drugs! Maryland needs to clean up trash along roadways and exits, prosecute those littering, no made how small the fine, if they don’t pay, no licenses. Look how many drug buts the police are making, but we don’t hear the good news of these criminals get 10-15 years in prison, the lap of luxury in Maryland prison, tougher days might make them think about it a little more, and the right they lost as a citizen in this state.

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