The 426th legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly convenes today and runs for ninety days, until April 13. The Maryland House and Senate will again be convening in the oldest State House in the country, in the same building that General Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783.
Bills sponsored by local delegates and senators already include a law to require all American flags flown in state buildings to be made in the USA, a bill to reassess the value of residential properties in Harford County, a bill to require stricter security to deposit a will with the Register of Wills, and her hit-and-run driving penalties. You can follow news from the session, including spotlights on Harford’s legislators and legislation, on The Dagger.
The Harford delegation is also expected to reintroduce legislation to create an elected school board in Harford County. This will likely be the bill that the delegation focuses on this session.
It is also expected that the Harford Delegation will be voting on the leadership for 2009 this Friday. Current chair Susan McComas (District 35B) and J.B. Jennings (District 7) are favorites for the chair of the delegation.
State issues for consideration include Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller’s proposal to increase the gasoline tax. The governor is also expected to support legislation to repeal the death penalty in Maryland. The governor’s legislative package, which has not yet been revealed, will likely contain few program increases. With a reelection bid two years away, the package should be calculated to boost the governor’s popularity rating, which was at 37 percent in May.
The state budget, which is facing a nearly $2 billion shortfall, is the primary concern of the session.