A Hybrid Session
Maryland’s 90-day legislative session began with a lot of uncertainty due to the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our presiding officers, Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones worked all interim on health and safety protocols, incredible technology upgrades and some significant tweaks to the legislative process. This session saw historic changes and a divergent approach – the session started virtually and eventually the Senate of Maryland moved to in-person meetings and bill hearings. For the House of Delegates, members of the public were required to use Zoom to testify in bill hearings, attend work sessions, and meet with legislators for all 90 days.
Big Issues Leading Up to Election Season
The Maryland General Assembly had a busy session which included re-drawing and approving redistricting maps, enacting landmark greenhouse gas emissions goals, passing a ballot initiative that will ask voters if they support recreational cannabis, creating a program and framework to give all Marylanders access to twelve weeks of paid family leave, enacted tax relief for retirees, and provided record funding for education.
With 3,114 bills introduced over the course of the session, it was a busy final year before election season. Governor Larry Hogan is term limited and cannot run again, but tough primary fights are shaping up for both the Democratic and Republican contenders. The Maryland General Assembly is up for election too, and between retirements and redistricting, we anticipate some significant turnover in both chambers.
This session, Compass monitored the state operating and capital budgets and worked with the Maryland Alliance to introduce legislation to protect club access to critical federal background check legislation and weighed in on the future of cannabis funding.