Maryland Sen. Jill Carter (center) shares a light moment inside the State House in Annapolis with Sens. Ron Watson (left) and Antonio Hayes on April 11, the final day of the state's annual 90-day legislative session. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
Maryland Sen. Jill Carter (center) shares a light moment inside the State House in Annapolis with Sens. Ron Watson (left) and Antonio Hayes on April 11, the final day of the state's annual 90-day legislative session. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers are working through last-minute deals to pass laws on the final day of the legislative session that ends at midnight Tuesday.

A few bills that passed Monday include raising the minimum age for marriage in the state from 15 to 17. The bill, which heads to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk, would prohibit 17-year-olds from marrying a person more than four years older.

A teenager could marry if “the individual has the consent of a parent or guardian.”

Another bill heading to the governor’s desk for a signature would change the name of Route 210, also known as Indian Head Highway, to Piscataway Highway in honor of the Piscataway Native American tribe.

The nearly 20-mile stretch of highway from Oxon Hill in Prince George’s County at the D.C. border through Charles County is considered by law enforcement officials to be one of the most dangerous roads in Maryland.

House Speaker Adrienne Jones looks at an unveiled portrait of the late House Speaker Michael Busch inside the House of Delegates chamber in Annapolis on April 11, the final day of the state’s annual 90-day legislation session. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

The last day, known as “Sine Die,” Latin for “without day,” was largely anticlimactic despite the major legislation that was approved, including paid family and medical leave, climate change and expansion of abortion services.

The Republican governor vetoed those three bills Friday, but the majority-Democrat legislature met Saturday to override them.

“It’s been a historic session,” Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) said during a press briefing Monday on the Senate floor. “When you look across the board, I am so incredibly proud of the work that we’ve done.”

Hogan agreed.

He summarized the bipartisan agreement struck between Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County) for a nearly $2 billion tax relief package.

He also praised how the court forced the legislature to redraw a map for the state’s eight congressional districts that he called “the worst gerrymandered maps in America.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks during a press conference outside the governor’s mansion in Annapolis on April 11, the final day of the state’s annual General Assembly session. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

“We’re very pleased with the session. I think it was our best session, yet, after eight years,” Hogan said. “We were successful in accomplishing nearly everything that we wanted to accomplish.”

To highlight a bit of normalcy at the end of the 90-day session, it’s possible balloons and confetti may cascade onto the House and Senate floors when the clock strikes midnight.

Ferguson said folks in attendance and viewing the session online will have to wait and see.

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...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.