On the final day of the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers passed two of Busch's priorities -- measures creating five permanent oyster sanctuaries around the Chesapeake Bay and replacing the
Just days earlier, the assembly passed Busch's legislation to pave the way for a plan to invest billions more in Maryland's public schools.
"We're going to feel the effects of
The final day of session also spelled the end for an effort to finance construction of a so-called "super track" for horseracing at
Baltimore lawmakers viewed the bill as a threat to keeping the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico
"We're going to kick the can down the road for another year. Something has to be resolved," Miller said.
At the beginning of the session, Busch and Miller announced a series of priorities that the legislature ended up passing with wide support. They included gradually raising the state's minimum wage to
Unexpectedly, lawmakers said Monday, they found that in wrapping up the session's work, they were carrying out Busch's final legislative achievements.
"We honor his legacy by continuing to do the work on the issues he cared about," said Montgomery County Del.
Legislation sponsored by Busch and Baltimore Democratic Sen.
Board members also would have to file financial disclosure forms that would be turned over to the leadership of the House, the state
The legislation advanced to Hogan's desk, and Hogan said he planned to sign it.
He also said Monday night in an interview that more, tougher legislation could be needed.
"They did the best they could in the last minutes of the session. Enacting that bill is a great first step, but more is going to have to be done," he said. "I pushed to make sure we had sweeping changes of the board, eliminate all potential conflicts of interest and that we have a real, independent audit. Those key elements are in this legislation. But I'm pretty sure we're going to have to come back next year with further corrections."
The session opened in January on a high note, as a record 72 women lawmakers took office.
But the atmosphere quickly turned somber after Miller announced he was suffering from an advanced form of prostate cancer and Busch missed time while hospitalized.
As Miller's and Busch's health deteriorated, two women -- House Speaker Pro tem
As Democratic proposals advanced, the governor pushed his priorities.
Hogan introduced plans for
The session also saw
At the same time, amid much debate and protest, lawmakers authorized the private
Advocates of legalizing medically assisted suicide came close to winning passage for their bill after years of failure. But the "End of Life Options Act" was defeated in dramatic fashion by a tie vote on the
Late Monday, lawmakers voted to increase how much of Maryland's electricity must come from renewable sources, as well as to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board that could set limits on how much state and local governments will pay for certain high-priced medications. But the
Legislation that would have allowed more survivors of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits also failed.
It was a session for discipline of fellow legislators.
"This is going to be a difficult day for all of us," Miller said. "I couldn't sleep. I couldn't talk about it. We need to proceed as best we can in his honor."
In the House, Jones laced up a pair of New Balance sneakers -- just as Busch always did -- to preside over a long day of floor sessions. The decision was part a practical matter, and part in tribute to Busch, she said.
Jones said the reality of Busch's death hit her as she opened the day's first floor session. Her voice cracked with emotion and she embraced Busch's chief of staff,
"The realization that he's not coming physically back into this chamber any more -- that just really hits you when you're going to preside and looking out at the body," Jones said.
Lawmakers said Busch's legacy will live past the end of this session. During his 16 years as speaker, Busch presided over a progressive agenda that included ending the death penalty, decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, legalizing same-sex marriage and, in this session, raising the minimum wage.
Hogan said he spoke Friday to Busch by phone, and the speaker was focused on the business of the
While Hogan and Busch often had contrasting policy positions, the governor said the late speaker's legacy would be his impact on laws improving education and health care and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
"I think those three things -- health care, education and the environment -- are probably the things
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