Maryland General Assembly looking at plenty of change this session

January 10, 2023

WMAR2 News

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Annapolis is buzzing once again as senators and delegates are busy moving into their new offices and preparing for change.

This year, it’s a new era in Annapolis.

The state’s first Black governor swears in just a few days from now as Governor Larry Hogan says goodbye.

The change in Maryland’s highest office will impact what happens at the state house.

“Eight years of Larry Hogan, he’s a nice guy but he professed to be a moderate and was not always a moderate. He vetoed our abortion bill, he vetoed our gun bill, he vetoed my election bill, he had problems with our climate bills,” said Senator Cheryl Kagan.

Delegate Kathy Szeliga sees this as a slower moving session because of the turnover at the capital.

“I don’t see a lot of really big issues being tackled because people are trying to figure out the lay of the land,” said Szeliga.

One of the major issues that needs to be solved is recreational marijuana — lawmakers have to iron out the rules by July first.

“It’s gotta be controlled like alcohol, we have to make sure juveniles don’t get it set up stores, people who grow people who process people who sell. This whole scheme needs to be newly created,” said Szeliga.

Both of the lawmakers we spoke with mentioned crime and public safety as a top priority of the general assembly.

“Gun safety, public safety, keeping our roadways, keeping our neighborhoods safe is going to be critically important and one of the ways that starts is with access to guns,” said Kagan.

“I know that crime is going to be overshadowing a lot of what we’ve been doing, obviously it’s a problem in our region. Very excited to have Ivan Bates as our new State’s Attorney and hoping we can have bipartisan solutions to the crime problem,” said Szeliga.

Lawmakers get sworn in Wednesday and next week, Governor-elect Wes Moore receives his inauguration.