Maryland Lawmakers Will Cut Short Ongoing General Assembly Session

Maryland Lawmakers Will Cut Short Ongoing General Assembly Session

Threats related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted the lawmakers in Maryland to cut the ongoing session of the General Assembly short. This could lead leave the fate of numerous bills hanging in balance.

Legislative session end session soon

The Maryland General Assembly announced on Sunday that it has decided to end its annual session on Wednesday, taking two weeks off the proposed legislative schedule. The action was inspired by the spread of coronavirus, which has led to the shutdowns and lockdowns across the world. This is the first time that the Assembly has cut a session short since the Civil War.

Maryland Lawmakers Will Cut Short Ongoing General Assembly Session

However, this adjournment of the legislature has created hurdles for bills awaiting a hearing. According to House of Delegated Speaker Adrienne A. Hones and Senate President Bill Ferguson, bills will be prioritized during the last three days of the session. However, they didn’t specify which bills they considered the most important, apart from education measures and the state budget.

Social distancing falls hard on casinos

Casinos of the state announced earlier that they aim to reduce the number of visiting patrons. However, they have now been ordered by Gov. Hogan to shut operations by midnight. The measures are being taken to promote “social distancing” to reduce the spread of the virus.

According to Ferguson and Jones, there will be a special legislative session in May end which will allow lawmakers to take up discussions on the bills that miss the last three days of the March session. It may also consider new bills that may help the state respond to the spread of COVID-19. Note that 11 state legislatures including that of Vermont, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Rhode Islands, Colorado, Delaware, Maine, Kentucky, Illinois, Georgia, and Connecticut have suspended their legislative session.

The House and Senate have to work out the racetrack bill that should be heard by Wednesday if it should be sent to the Governor’s desk pronto. Apart from talking about education programs, the state has to decide whether it should allow voters to decide the fate of legalized sports betting. It is unclear if the bill will be taken up during the remaining days of the abbreviated session.

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Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.