Maryland’s 62nd Governor is Larry Hogan, a Republican from Anne Arundel County. An incumbent, Hogan campaigned recently on his popular status as a bipartisan governor, as evidenced by his success in passing legislation in Maryland’s House of Delegates that contained provisions appealing to both Republicans and Democrats. The 141-member House of Delegates is the “lower” chamber of the General Assembly, which is Maryland’s bicameral legislature; the “upper” is the State Senate, with a membership of 47 Senators. The Senate leader is Thomas Mike Miller Jr., a Democrat. The Democratic party has the majority in the Senate, and their leader is Douglas Peters. The Senatorial minority leader, representing the Republican party, is J.B. Jennings. Like the Senate, the House is controlled by Democrats. The majority leader is Kathleen Dumais, and the Republican minority leader is Nicholaus Ripke. Maryland’s legislative body is currently a divided government, with a Republican Governor but a Democratic-led General Assembly. Politically, Maryland is a more liberal state that typically votes for Democrats in both state and national elections. Unsurprisingly, the Democrats have a considerable margin over their Republican counterparts. There are 32 Democratic seats in the Senate, to 15 Republican seats. As for the House, 99 seats are held by Democrats while 42 are held by Republicans. Nonetheless, Governor Hogan’s bipartisan efforts often override the polarizing forces of either party, and his Republican membership ensures that their political interests are fairly represented in legislation. Both parties have been able to pass party-approved bills under Hogan.
One of the major legislative goals that will be prevalent in the opening session of 2019 is the effort to override Governor Hogan’s veto on a bill requiring Maryland employers to provide sick leave to their employees. If and when this override occurs (which it likely will, as pundits have predicted), the next question will be to determine what shape the specifics of a sick leave bill would take. The Democratic leadership has made it evident that they consider themselves the vanguards of this portion of the agenda. Maryland must also choose how it will respond to tax cuts enacted by the Trump administration, and if it will follow or oppose this trend for state-level taxes. Additionally, federal legislation has created an array of complex issues in the field of health care that the state has to navigate carefully. Namely, the removal of the individual mandate created by the Affordable Care Act under President Obama, the halting of cost-sharing reduction payments, and low levels of funding for CHIP have forced the legislature to act decisively in order to ensure that many Marylanders remain effectively covered for their medical expenses. Finally, the Governor and General Assembly will be considering the legal status of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is currently legal in the state, but it remains divisive on both sides of the aisle as to how and to what degree cannabis for medical purposes should be legally controlled, if at all.
I reside in Maryland’s 4th District for state-level elections. My representative in the State Senate is Michael Hough, a Republican. According to his official website (https://senatorhough.com/), Hough “believes in the founding principles of our country; limited government, individual responsibility, and lower taxes.” He supports lenient and reformist justice for non-violent criminals, while increasing penalties for violent offenders. He stands for the protection of property rights from the government and supports Americans’ Second Amendment rights. He is considered one of the most conservative state senators in Maryland by some sources. Based on this information, I would say that he represents me well, although I would prefer that he take a greater stand for environmental protection. As for the House of Representatives, Jesse Pippy and Dan Cox represent District 4, and both of them are Republicans. Pippy’s main focal point in the House is on modernizing Maryland’s economic structure with market capitalism aligned towards small businesses. He tends to take a moderate Evangelical-conservative position on most other issues (https://jessepippy.com/). Dan Cox makes his stances clear on all pivotal issues: the right to life, Second Amendment rights and other defenses from government overreach, property rights, thorough border security and deportation of illegal immigrants, and galvanizing the rights of farmers. Both of these Senators represent me well and likely most of their overwhelmingly rural constituency; I especially appreciate Cox’s commitment to protecting the food supply and ensuring that farmers can remain afloat, even in tough economic circumstances.
Table of Consultations