Maryland’s 2015 Legislative Session, when state legislators meet to approve new laws, appointees, and annual state budgets, began on January 14 with the noon swearing-in of new state Senators and Delegates. Dozens of people from across the state converged on Annapolis to congratulate the many new legislators, some of whom held parties featuring everything from tacos to vegetable lo mein.
Many of Montgomery County’s representatives in the state capital were optimistic about the 90 days when lawmakers meet to discuss and vote on new measures. Senator Karen Montgomery plans to introduce a bill shifting the burden of proof in special education cases from parents to school systems, a legal change that “has been effective in other states and should be expanded to Maryland,” according to Montgomery’s recent public statement. At a celebration following her swearing-in, incoming Senator Cheryl Kagan expressed hopes for measures to better fund Montgomery County school construction and to better protect the environment.
Nevertheless, many Democratic legislators remain deeply worried about conflict with Republican Governor-elect Larry Hogan, who will be sworn in on January 21. Until Hogan releases his proposed state budget later in January, legislators and politics-watchers will anxiously look for signs for how contentious the 2015 Legislative Session will become.
Photo courtesy of MCR-SGA.