Snow Causes Delay in Maryland Legislative Process

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The nine-inch snow storm that hit the city of Annapolis Monday, March 17th, delayed the schedule to which legislators are expected to adhere. Monday, March 17th, officially was “Crossover Day,” the last day when bills passed in the House or Senate can be sent to the corresponding subcommittee in the opposite chamber for consideration. Bills that fail to “crossover” are sent to the Rules Committee for review and a decision. Generally, legislation sent to the Rules Committee is considered more difficult to get passed.

The House of Delegates passed almost 100 bills before adjourning at 6:00 p.m. Monday evening. The Senate did not convene, however, until at 7:00 p.m. that night. As a result, some 40 bills passed by the Senate could not be sent to the House and missed the crossover deadline. Because the Senate’s bills could not be considered by the House of Delegates, Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller (D-Calvert) said that he would place the bills passed by the house on “hold,” meaning that, since the Senate’s bills could not be considered by the House, the Senate would not consider bills passed by the House.

Senate President Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Bush reached a compromise, however, deciding that bills that failed to “crossover” on Monday night would be sent to the appropriate subcommittees late Tuesday morning. Thus, although delayed by one day, the General Assembly’s procedures continued as expected.

3/26/14 Terence Cooper, Legislative Director