ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — Only two days into a week-long special session of the Maryland General Assembly, things could be getting tense as the Democratic majority is imposing its will with veto overrides from Republican Governor Larry Hogan. There is quite a rift among lawmakers on a number of bills.
For Maryland State Senator Ron Young, a Democrat from Frederick County, there may not be quite the anxiety over all the vetoes from Governor Larry Hogan, such as the new redistricting maps. Young is stepping down at the end of his term after a distinguished career in Annapolis.
“Lines could change,” Young said with a chuckle. “People could be in different districts. But I don’t have to worry about that.”
Republican Delegate Dan Cox, whose district includes Frederick and Carroll Counties — and a candidate for governor to succeed Hogan next year — is particularly upset with a veto override that would prevent local law enforcement from coordinating with U.S. immigration officials on the immigration status of say, a motorist, when apprehended.
“These veto overrides are just atrocious,” Cox said. “We have got to protect our state from being a sanctuary state.”
Another veto Democrats seek to override is liability protection for commercial landlords who may have not been able to collect rent from small business tenants — a restaurant, for instance, during the pandemic.
Senator Clarence Lam from Baltimore and Howard Counties said that he is committed to “help out local businesses and small businesses, insure that folks get back on their feet, recover from the pandemic.”
As the chair of the Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs committee sees it, his party has a majority because that’s how Maryland voters have exercised their voice.
“You know, the governor is ‘Governor No.’ He vetoes everything. We think we want to move the state forward, have a more livable place, a welcoming place. So I think we’ll continue to go on the path we’re on, override most of the vetoes,” said Pinsky.
Lawmakers have already overridden a gubernatorial veto which would give the governor final say on parole commission rulings.
The full session for the Maryland General Assembly is scheduled for January 12. Senate President Bill Ferguson has deferred until January a veto override vote on criminalizing the possession of drug paraphernalia — needles and syringes, for example.
Other vetoes we could see this week concern tax authority for local governments and mass transit funding, possibly affecting MARC commuter rail service from Maryland communities to Washington, D.C.