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Maryland lawmakers set tone, agenda under new power dynamics in Annapolis

Apr 17, 2023

After a dominant election year and a hectic three-month General Assembly session, the majority party’s lawmakers poured out of the State House largely having stayed united, completed almost all of their agenda and set themselves up for another three years of progressive policymaking.
It is, they said, just the beginning.
“This isn’t a three-month mission. It’s a four-year, eight-year, generational mission,” wrote Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis in a fundraising pitch to supporters Tuesday, the day after the session ended.
She highlighted the party’s moves in the legislature to expand access to abortion, improve local election processes, help victims of child sexual abuse, expand gun control and pass a budget that is “equitable and prosperous.”
The Democrats’ turn to capitalize on their successes serves as both celebration and preview, especially as issues like abortion rights and gun control remain targets of federal courts stocked with judges and justices appointed by former Republican President Donald Trump.
At the same time, the session marked the diminished sway in Maryland of Republicans. The GOP has long toiled in the legislative minority, but controlled the governor’s office for 12 of the last 20 years.
It’s a power shift that played out in behind-the-scenes meetings and public debates all during the 90-day legislative session before swirling into chaos right before the General Assembly’s midnight Monday deadline to wrap up its work. That’s when Republican delegates shouted at House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones for not allowing them time to explain their positions on a bill.
Jones said the following day that she accepted an apology from Republican Del. Nic Kipke of Anne Arundel County for yelling at her to “sit down” during the fracas. And Kipke told The Baltimore Sun he called Jones to convey his respect.
But he also maintained Democrats ignored the chamber’s rules when they wouldn’t let Republicans speak and that he would continue to advocate for his positions. And House Minority Leader Jason Buckel of Allegany County said after the House adjourned that Democrats were to blame for the derailment by calling up a bill Republicans opposed at the last minute
You could read more of this Baltimore Sun article here.