Del. Dereck E. Davis, speaking at a campaign kickoff Oct. 22 for LaTasha Ward, seeks to become Maryland state treasurer. If elected, he would join the state’s Board of Public Works that approves millions of dollars in government contracts. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
Del. Dereck E. Davis, speaking at a campaign kickoff Oct. 22 for LaTasha Ward, seeks to become Maryland state treasurer. If elected, he would join the state’s Board of Public Works that approves millions of dollars in government contracts. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

The Maryland General Assembly will hold a rare special session Monday to review and possibly adopt new congressional districts.

But the session in Annapolis will also allow lawmakers to override several vetoes made by Gov. Larry Hogan after this year’s 90-day session. Some of the bills include implementing a marketing plan for the Purple Line light-rail project in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and requiring the state Health Department to work with local health departments on specific ways to combat COVID-19.

Sen. Malcolm Augustine (D-District 47) of Cheverly wants to remind Marylanders the session will also involve the legislature choosing a new state treasurer. Nancy Kopp, who served as the state’s second-longest treasurer, announced in October she plans to resign next month after being elected to the position in 2002.

“You see how many of the decisions on the largest of contracts that come through on the Board of Public Works,” he said. “[State treasurer] is a critical position to the state of Maryland.”

The legislature chooses a state treasurer to serve on the three-member Board of Public Works that oversees state spending and approves millions of dollars in government contracts on road, construction and other projects.

One of the people interested in the treasurer position: Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-District 25) of Mitchellville. If selected, he would fill Kopp’s term that ends in 2023 and would step down from his post as chair of the House’s Economic Matters Committee.

“Dereck Davis … deeply understands the legislature and understands the state of Maryland,” Augustine said. “I think he will just be an outstanding representative on that Board of Public Works. I am very much looking forward to him being there and being a voice for the people in the state of Maryland.”

Davis couldn’t be reached for comment Friday or Saturday.

The redistricting proposal anticipates receiving plenty of discussion when lawmakers meet in Annapolis next week.

A Maryland Legislative Advisory Committee chose a proposed congressional map on Nov. 23 that would realign one of the state’s districts to offer more competition for the only Republican representative on Capitol Hill.

A Maryland Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission recommended approval of this congressional map to extend the more conservative 1st Congressional District across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge into portions of Anne Arundel County with more Democratic neighborhoods. The legislature will review this and other congressional maps during a special legislative session on Dec. 6. (Courtesy of Maryland General Assembly)

By a 4-2 vote, the 1st Congressional district overseen by Rep. Andy Harris would stretch across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge into portions of Democratic neighborhoods in Anne Arundel County. The district currently runs north and south with a heavy GOP influence along the Eastern Shore and portions of Baltimore, Harford and Carroll counties.

A portion of the map would shift Maryland’s state capital of Annapolis in Anne Arundel into the 4th Congressional district, which becomes an open seat because Rep. Anthony Brown has chosen to seek the office of Maryland attorney general. The population data shows the district that includes a portion of Prince George’s County and would house the state’s largest Black population with 419,596 out of the total 733,616 residents.

The district border proposes to extend west into Montgomery County with the communities of Colesville, Cloverly and Fairland.

To address violence in Baltimore City and statewide, Hogan wants state lawmakers to review and eventually pass emergency legislation when the legislature meets Monday.

One bill, “Violent Firearms Offender Act,” would impose tougher sentences for those who commit crimes and illegally possess guns. In addition, it would impose severe sentences on individuals who supply illegal guns to potential offenders.

Another bill, the “Judicial Transparency Act,” would publish the sentencing records of judges in violent crime cases.

The Hogan administration submitted both bills for last year’s 90-day General Assembly session.

“We are once again asking city leaders and the [Baltimore] city delegation to stop working against this legislation and to work together with us to pass this,” he said during a press briefing hours before the legislative committee voted on the redistricting plan.

Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) released a statement on how public safety remains a statewide concern but not with “performative politics.”

“The Senate remains committed to targeted, thoughtful investments in communities that are most vulnerable — solutions the governor has repeatedly vetoed,” he said. “Unfortunately, we have seen only reactive calls to action from the governor thus far. There are proactive solutions we can work together on now and we hope the governor sincerely comes to the table and takes more comprehensive actions going forward.”

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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