General Elections Preview

The Maryland General Election this year is a rare opportunity to see the “big four” up for election: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, and Attorney General. With a new gubernatorial administration comes opportunity for increased legislative movement. Select legislators could move into the administration, allowing for some committee shakeups.

In Delaware, all seats are up for re-election due to redistricting. Compass will keep a pulse on contentious races that could impact the composition of the leadership in the General Assembly. This is not an election year for Governor Carney, so we do anticipate general consistency in the make up of the Administration.

District of Columbia will also hold their General Election on November 8th. We expect to see a few new faces in the coming year. Compass is monitoring contentious At-Large race between Kenyan McDuffie and Elissa Silverman.

This election lends the Compass team an opportunity to facilitate working relationships from freshman delegates to Governors’ offices, while strengthening the relationships we currently hold.

We will hold a call on November 9th to deliver a live update from our government relations team about election results in Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.

Budget Changes

The 2023 Session will bring a significant change to the state budget process. Prior to 2023, once the Governor submits the operating budget to the General Assembly in January, the legislature could only make cuts. They could not add money to the budget and could not shift money from one program to another. Beginning in 2023, the legislature will be able to add money to sections of the operating budget, as long as the Governor’s overall level of spending is not exceeded. The Governor maintains some power as they will be able to veto these individual budget actions. This creates additional advocacy opportunities should money not make it into the Governor’s proposed operating budget.

The Compass Government Relations team is here to help you navigate these changes. Contact us today!

Team Spotlight: Rob Garagiola

An expert on energy, tax, business regulation, and procurement matters, Rob lobbies for clients in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. As a former Maryland State Senate Majority Leader and State Senator for ten years, Rob understands the inner workings of state government. Prior to becoming a State Senator, he spent close to a decade on Capitol Hill – both as a lobbyist and senior staffer for U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., who is now the Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee. In addition, he has experience lobbying in Baltimore City and Frederick County. Rob also lobbies before the Delaware General Assembly, DC City Council, and in the halls of Congress.

A triple threat for Compass, Rob serves as a Principal for Compass Government Relations and Compass Public Relations and as the Managing Member for Compass Law. With nearly 30 years of legislative, lobbying, and advocacy experience at the federal, state, and local levels of government, and over 20 years practicing law in D.C. and MD, Rob plays a leading role in managing the Compass leadership team and nurturing the firm’s enterprise growth and innovation.

Services Spotlight: Procurement

Compass Government Relations helps dozens of clients obtain contracts with state and local governments in MD, DE and D.C.; However, navigating state and local procurement can be daunting task. It is not just about submitting a bid and signing on the dotted line. A robust government relations strategy can help develop more targeted business pipelines through identifying future opportunities, developing relationships with stakeholders, and holding discussions well ahead of any blackout periods.

Compass guides our clients through the process of conducting business in the public sector. We open the right doors and provide strategic advice that wins our clients contracts. We help clients work through the state and local levels, public school systems, university systems and Maryland’s unique Board of Public Works, a panel composed of the State’s governor, treasurer, and comptroller that votes on all state contracts over $250,000.


It’s here! 988 is officially available nationwide to call or text from anywhere in the country during a mental health crisis. You can learn more about what changes with 988 (and what doesn’t) here:

Our client, NAMI, has been fundamental in the creation of 988. We are so grateful for their continued advocacy for such important issues!

HB 293 (Del. Lewis Young)/SB 241 (Sen. Augustine) – Behavioral Health Crisis Response Services 9-8-8 Trust Fund

Mental health crises and suicides can be devastating for individuals, families, and communities. When someone experiences a mental health crisis and doesn’t receive the care they need, they can end up in emergency rooms, on the streets, involved in the criminal justice system, or in the worst case, they could lose their life. A ‘round the clock crisis hotline can be the first line of defense in preventing these tragedies and an essential part of any continuum of care for mental health crises. HB 293 designates 988 to be the phone number for Maryland’s suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis hotline and establishes a sustainable funding source to support existing behavioral health crisis call centers in Maryland.

This legislation was supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders. It passed and received supporting appropriations of $10 million to help launch the program. Sustainable funding will be the next hurdle to ensuring the success of 9-8-8 in future years.

Maryland Primary Elections 2022

Though this summer’s 2022 Primary election had some unpredictable twists and turns, the General Election winners are a bit more predictable if one is to believe the polling. Here is a quick recap of the State’s 3 state-wide elections:


In the Governor’s race on the Republican side, the ever-popular, Governor Hogan’s hand-picked successor, Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz decidedly lost over Trump-backed, right-wing candidate Dan Cox. This shows that the primary voter in the Republican primaries tends more toward the right rather than the center. Governor Hogan has called Dan Cox a “QAnon whack job” and announced he would not be voting for him. It is widely accepted in political circles that this means the winner of the Democratic Primary, Wes Moore, is heavily favored in the General election. Moore, a combat Veteran and best-selling author, defeated Comptroller Peter Franchot and former DNC Chairman Tom Perez. Because Maryland is tied with California as one of the most democratic states in the country, and because the election of Cox leaves the Republican party divided, it certainly appears Wes Moore will be the next Governor of Maryland. Wes Moore has tapped former State Delegate Aruna Miller as his running mate for Lt. Governor while Dan Cox has tapped law professor Gordana Schifanelli to join him on his ticket.


A similar trend occurred on the Republican side of the Attorney General’s race. The party nominee is Michael Peroutka who ran on a hyper-conservative platform. He will face Congressman Anthony Brown in the General Election. Brown handily defeated Katie O’Malley in the primary who is a former Judge and First Lady of Maryland. Maryland has not elected a Republican Attorney General in 70 years.


Rising-star Delegate Brooke Lierman decidedly beat her Democratic Primary opponent Bowie Mayor Tim Adams. She will face Republican Harford County Executive Barry Glassman in the fall. Glassman, who has a reputation for working across the aisle, is looking to distance himself from the other state-wide candidates on the Republican side.


All in all, it looks like there will be about 40 new Senators and Delegates being sworn in for the General Assembly of 2023. The Democrats are expected to maintain super-majorities in both the House of Delegates and the State Senate.

Delaware Session 2022: That’s a Wrap!

The 151st Delaware General Assembly has come to a close. Lawmakers adopted the state’s largest ever operating budget to the tune of $5.1 billion. The spending bill makes significant investments in public schools and includes pay raises for state employees. Governor Carney also signed a $378.6 million-dollar one-time appropriation that will fund paid family and medical leave and the Library Connection Program, among others.

Beyond passing the largest budget in state history, the legislature moved a few notable pieces of policy including the Healthy Delaware Families Act which provides Delawareans with paid family and medical leave, the Telehealth Access Preservation and Modernization Act which enhances access to telemedicine, and legislation that increased the net metering cap in Delaware. Marijuana legalization and a polystyrene ban were two marque bills that did not make it across the finish line this year but are like to return in 2023.

With the legislative session behind us, Legislators will now set their focus on the 2022 election cycle. Due to redistricting, all 62 Legislators are up for re-election. The state’s primary is scheduled for September 13th, just two months before the November 8th general.

Hannah Garagiola: Daily Record Top 100 Women

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Author: The Daily Record Staff

Why is community service critical to your career and your personal leadership journey?

From the beginning of launching my current venture, I decided giving back was going to be a major part of our firm’s core values. We launched the ‘Compass Cares’ committee of our firm to give back to the community that has been so good to us. It also serves as a team-building opportunity for us as well. In politics, the pinnacle of civic engagement, being involved in the community is an absolute must. We also are very fortunate to represent some very crucial nonprofits that we are pleased to support.

Self-care connects everything in life: career, interactions and one’s personal life. Is this something you are doing well or is this a goal? What are your secrets if you are succeeding and what are your goals if this is a focus area where you want to learn from others?

Our work as a contract lobbyist is very intense for 90 days. We work around the clock and right at the moment things get extremely stressful and you feel like the pressure cooker is about to explode, the legislature is finished for the year. Although we work on procurement and planning for the next session and other government relations services, the craze of running against such a serious deadline is over. We encourage family time, leave, PTO, etc., so that our team all gets an opportunity to recharge.

Maryland Session 2022: Sine Die

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.

MD Session 2022: Recreational Cannabis

The Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 1; legislation that will let voters choose whether recreational, adult use cannabis becomes legal in Maryland. The measure to approve recreational cannabis is expected to be overwhelmingly supported by voters in November 2022.

This year (as in past years) Compass’ clients have worked with sponsors in both chambers to advance language that would open up funding from cannabis sales tax revenues to youth development organizations. Although some clients do not take a position on the question of recreational cannabis, it’s important to advocate for sustainable funding sources where they exist. The Senate adopted our recommended language, but the House adopted and passed broader funding language in House Bill 837 that creates a Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund. The Fund will receive at least 30% of all adult use, or recreational cannabis sales tax revenue and a portion of licensing fees. The fund will be apportioned based on cannabis policing and counties will have authority over how to reinvest their proceeds from the fund in community programming. The enormous racial disparities in criminal enforcement of cannabis were a clear factor to adopt broader community reinvestment language, and there will absolutely be opportunities for clubs to apply. Compass anticipates additional regulations and future legislation on recreational cannabis and how it is taxed and regulated in Maryland.

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