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.
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.”
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.”
“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.