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Maryland House of Delegates
|Maryland General Assembly|
New session started
|January 9, 2019|
since April 7, 2019
Speaker pro Tempore
Length of term
|Authority||Article III, Section 2, Maryland Constitution|
|Salary||$43,500/year + per diem|
|November 4, 2014|
|November 6, 2018|
|House of Delegates Chamber|
Maryland State House
|Maryland House of Delegates|
The Maryland House of Delegates is the lower house of the legislature of the State of Maryland. It consists of 141 delegates elected from 47 districts. The House of Delegates Chamber is in the Maryland State House on State Circle in Annapolis, the state capital. The State House also houses the Maryland State Senate Chamber and the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of the State of Maryland. Each delegate has offices in Annapolis, in the nearby Casper R. Taylor Jr. House Office Building.
The Maryland General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland that convenes within the State House in Annapolis. It is a bicameral body: the upper chamber, the Maryland State Senate, has 47 representatives and the lower chamber, the Maryland House of Delegates, has 141 representatives. Members of both houses serve four-year terms. Each house elects its own officers, judges the qualifications and election of its own members, establishes rules for the conduct of its business, and may punish or expel its own members.
The Maryland State House is located in Annapolis, Maryland as the oldest U.S. state capitol in continuous legislative use, dating to 1772 and housing the Maryland General Assembly, plus the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The capitol has the distinction of being topped by the largest wooden dome in the United States constructed without nails. The current building, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, is the third statehouse on its site. The building is administered by the State House Trust, established in 1969.
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 25 miles (40 km) south of Baltimore and about 30 miles (50 km) east of Washington, D.C., Annapolis is part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. Its population was measured at 38,394 by the 2010 census.
The Maryland House of Delegates originated as the Lower House of the General Assembly of the Province of Maryland in 1650, during the time when it was an English colony, when the Assembly (legislature) became a bicameral body.The Lower House often fought with the Upper House for political influence in the colony. The Upper House consisted of the Governor and his Council, all personally appointed by Lord Baltimore and Proprietor of the Province, and thus tended to protect his interests in Maryland. Conversely, the Lower House tended to push for political change in the colony, claiming to be the true elected representatives of the people.
The Province of Maryland was an English and later British colony in North America that existed from 1632 until 1776, when it joined the other twelve of the Thirteen Colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S. state of Maryland. Its first settlement and capital was St. Mary's City, in the southern end of St. Mary's County, which is a peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay and is also bordered by four tidal rivers.
In this context, the Lower House continually fought for more power by asserting exclusive rights in certain legislative areas, such as levying taxes and originating money bills. This reflected similar attitudes in the other colonies on the East Coast of North America with the beginnings and growth of representative government during the 17th century, as each province's representatives constantly agitated for more rights, powers, and respect from the Proprietors, Governors, and even the King and Parliament in London.
The Governor also had some measure of control over the Lower House in the late seventeenth century. Despite the fact that each county was entitled to elect four delegates, the governor selected only two of these to sit in the Lower House. This enabled the Governor to control the Lower House's membership.
In the United States, an administrative or political subdivision of a state is a county, which is a region having specific boundaries and usually some level of governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 U.S. states, while Louisiana and Alaska have functionally equivalent subdivisions called parishes and boroughs respectively.
In 1689, the transfer of Maryland from a proprietary colony to a royal colony temporarily quieted the disputes between the Lower House and the Governor and Council. Appointed by the crown, the royal governors allowed the Lower House substantial latitude with its legislative agenda. The first General Assembly under Royal Authority, in 1692, passed 85 acts in a single session. The Lower House immediately acted to remove the Governor's influence over the election of delegates. Now, elected delegates could attend the session without the need for a special writ from the Governor. At the same time, standing or continuing committees were established. These eliminated the Lower House's reliance on ad hoc committees and created the first modern legislature in Maryland. During this period, the Lower House became known as the "House of Delegates".
A proprietary colony was a type of British colony mostly in North America and the Caribbean in the 17th century. In the British Empire, all land belonged to the ruler, and it was his prerogative to divide. Therefore, all colonial properties were partitioned by royal charter into one of four types: proprietary, royal, joint stock, or covenant. King Charles II used the proprietary solution to reward allies and focus his own attention on Britain itself. He offered his friends colonial charters which facilitated private investment and colonial self-government. The charters made the proprietor the effective ruler, albeit one ultimately responsible to English Law and the King. Charles II gave New Netherland to his younger brother The Duke of York, who named it New York. He gave an area to William Penn who named it Pennsylvania.
The Maryland Constitution of 1776 formally established the modern House of Delegates. Initially, representation was based on geography as the voters of each county elected four delegates, and two each were elected from the towns of Annapolis and Baltimore.These delegates served one-year terms (increased to two years in 1845, and four years in 1922, as it is today).
The Maryland Constitution of 1776 was the first of four constitutions under which the U.S. state of Maryland has been governed. It was that state's basic law from its adoption in 1776 until the Maryland Constitution of 1851 took effect on July 4 of that year.
Baltimore is the largest city in the state of Maryland within the United States. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. With a population of 611,648 in 2017, Baltimore is the largest such independent city in the United States. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.808 million, making it the 20th largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2017 population of 9,764,315.
Beginning with the 1838 elections, each county elected at least three and up to six delegates depending on its population. Baltimore City elected the same number of delegates as did the most populous county, but after 1840, the Town of Annapolis was then considered part of Anne Arundel County. Reapportionment was required after every federal census in an attempt to achieve equal representation.
The current pattern for distribution of seats in the House of Delegates began with the legislative apportionment plan of 1972 and has been revised every ten years thereafter. The plan created 47 legislative districts, many of which cross county boundaries to delineate districts relatively equal in population. Each legislative district sends three delegates for a total of 141 members of the House. Some of the larger districts are divided into delegate sub-districts to provide local representation to areas not large enough to constitute an entire legislative district.
The powers and functions of the Maryland House of Delegates are outlined in the Maryland Constitution. Along with the State Senate, the House has the power to approve laws, establish executive departments, levy taxes, and propose state constitutional amendments. Both houses also have the power to elect the state treasurer and to appoint a new Governor if the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor are simultaneously vacant. In addition, the House of Delegates has the sole power to impeach members of the executive branch, including the Governor. Once the House of Delegates has passed articles of impeachment, the person impeached stands trial before the State Senate.
The House of Delegates utilizes a number of different organizational structures. Much of the work of drafting and reviewing bills is done by six standing committees: Appropriations, Economic Matters, Environment and Transportation, Health and Government Operations, Judiciary, and Ways and Means. Each of these committees is then divided further into sub-committees by issue area. An additional continuing committee, Executive Nominations, has the responsibility for confirming appointments of the Governor. Delegates also divide themselves into a variety of legally recognized work groups, Joint and Special Committees, caucuses, and geographic delegations. The two largest caucuses are those of the Democratic and Republican Parties.
Smaller caucuses might group Delegates by identity, such as the Women's Caucus,notably the first women's legislative caucus founded in the United States. The Asian-American and Pacific Islander caucus, or Legislative Black Caucus are other examples. Delegates may also organize by issue or area of experience, such as the Veterans' Caucus . In addition, delegates from a certain county, smaller towns, or Baltimore City might organize its delegate delegation into a caucus-style group, such as the Baltimore City Delegation or the Western Maryland Delegation.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|October 15, 2018||92||49||0||0||141||0|
|November 19, 2018||91||49||1||0||141||0|
|Latest voting share||70.2%||29.8%|
Current leadership in the Maryland House of Delegates.
|Speaker of the House||Vacant|
|Speaker Pro Tempore||Democratic||10|
|Majority Leader||Kathleen Dumais||Democratic||15|
The Maryland Senate, sometimes referred to as the Maryland State Senate, is the upper house of the General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland. Composed of 47 senators elected from an equal number of constituent single-member districts, the Senate is responsible, along with the Maryland House of Delegates, for passage of laws in Maryland, and for confirming executive appointments made by the Governor of Maryland.
Michael Erin Busch was an American politician who served as Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates from 2003 until his death in 2019. Busch was a member of the House since 1987. He represented District 30A, which encompasses parts of Anne Arundel County, including the state capital of Annapolis.
David R. Brinkley is the Secretary of Budget and Management for the U.S. state of Maryland. He was appointed to the position by Governor Larry Hogan in 2015.
Tony O'Donnell is an American politician, who represented District 29 in the Maryland House of Delegates.
Justin D. Ross is an American politician who served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2003 to 2012. He was first elected to the House in 2002 to represent District 22, which covers Prince George's County.
Ronald Alan George is a former Republican member of the Maryland House of Delegates. George has announced plans to run in 2018 for the state Senate in District 30, which includes Annapolis. He sought the Republican nomination for Governor of Maryland in 2014, but finished fourth in the primary. From January, 2007 to January, 2015 he represented District 30 in the Maryland General Assembly located within Anne Arundel County. Before redistricting, he shared this district with Democratic member House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Republican Herbert H. McMillan. After redistricting, George was no longer living in District 30, but rather District 33. In December 2014, George expressed interest in being appointed to the District 33 House of Delegates seat vacated by Cathy Vitale, who was appointed a judge. George has been a successful Maryland business owner for over 20 years. He owns Ron George Jewelers located in Annapolis and formerly in Severna Park.
Steven R. Schuh was the County Executive of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, serving two terms in the Maryland General Assembly representing District 31. Schuh was elected County Executive in 2014 after defeating incumbent Laura Neuman in the Republican primary and defeating former three-term Sheriff George Johnson in the General Election. He is the ninth Anne Arundel County Executive. He was defeated in his bid for re-election in 2018 by Steuart Pittman.
Robert A. Costa was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, and until his retirement represented District 33B, which is located in Anne Arundel County. He defeated Democrat Mike Shay in the 2006 election. In 2002 he defeated Democrat Dotty Chaney to initially capture the seat of this newly created district. He announced his retirement in 2014. He was succeeded by Sid Saab, real estate investor and the first member of the Maryland General Assembly to have been born in Lebanon.
The Baltimore City Delegation refers to the 18 delegates who are elected from districts in Baltimore to serve in the Maryland House of Delegates in the United States. There are currently 6 legislative districts in Baltimore City with each having 3 delegates. The chairman of the delegation is chosen via an open ballot by the members of the delegation and usually serves for four years. The delegation usually meets weekly during the regular session of the Maryland General Assembly in the Baltimore City Delegation Room of the Lowe House Office Building in Annapolis. During the legislative interim, May through December, the delegation meets on an as needed basis.
The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland is an American political organization composed of African Americans elected to the Maryland General Assembly. Incorporated in 1970, the Caucus membership has grown from 17 to 44 and is one of the largest state legislative black caucuses in the country.
Phillip D. Bissett, was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, District 30 in Anne Arundel County and is a former Republican candidate for Anne Arundel County Executive.
John W. E. Cluster Jr. is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing the 8th district in Baltimore County.
Victoria L. Schade was a Republican member of the Maryland House of Delegates, District 31 in Anne Arundel County.
Martha S. Klima was first elected in 1982 to represent District 9, which covered a portion of Baltimore County, Maryland, USA. She unsuccessfully ran for the State Senate in 2002. She was defeated by Jim Brochin.
Herbert H. McMillan is a Republican former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 30 in Anne Arundel County, MD from 2003 to 2007 and from 2011 to 2019. He served alongside Democrat Michael E. Busch and Republican Ron George. In 2006 he challenged District 30 Senator John Astle, a Democrat, who defeated him 53 percent to 47 percent.
Kathy Szeliga is an American politician who has served as a Republican member of the Maryland House of Delegates since January 12, 2011 and as Minority Whip since 2013. Szeliga was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate in 2016 to replace Barbara Mikulski, who retired.
Patrick Young Jr. is an American politician from Maryland. He currently represents District 44B in the Maryland House of Delegates and serves as the Chair of the Baltimore County House Delegation.
Lesley Lopez is an American politician who was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in the 2018 Maryland General Assembly election. With Kirill Reznik and Gabriel Acevero, she represents the 39th House District as a member of the Democratic Party.