Maryland General Assembly

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 14:54, 16 January 2012 by Gtjanetka (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Maryland General Assembly

Seal of Maryland.jpg
General Information
Type:   State legislature
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   January 11, 2012
Website:   Official Legislature Page
Leadership
Senate President:   Thomas Mike Miller, Jr. (D)
House Speaker:  Michael Busch (D)
Majority Leader:   Robert Garagiola (D) (Senate),
Kumar Barve (D) (House)
Minority leader:   Nancy Jacobs (R) (Senate),
Anthony O'Donnell (R) (House)
Structure
Members:  47 (Senate), 141 (House)
Length of term:   4 years (Senate), 4 years (House)
Authority:   Art III, Maryland Constitution
Salary:   $43,500/year + per diem
Elections
Last Election:  November 2, 2010
47 seats (Senate)
141 seats (House)
Next election:  November 4, 2014
47 seats (Senate)
141 seats (House)
Redistricting:  Maryland General Assembly has control
The Maryland General Assembly is the state legislature of Maryland. It is a bicameral body. The upper house, the Maryland State Senate, has 47 representatives and the lower house, the Maryland House of Delegates, has 141 representatives. Each member represents an average of 37,564 residents, as of the 2000 Census.[1] The General Assembly meets each year for 90 days to act on more than 2,300 bills including the State's annual budget, which it must pass before adjourning. Like the Governor of Maryland, members of both houses serve four-year terms. Each house elects its own officers, judges the qualifications and election of its own members, establishes rules for the conduct of its business, and may punish or expel its own members.

In 2011, the General Assembly was in session from January 12th to April 11th. The Maryland General Assembly convenes within the State House in Annapolis.

Qualifications and membership

Each senator or delegate must be a citizen of Maryland and a resident for at least one year preceding his or her election. A prospective legislator must have resided for the six months prior to election in the legislative district the candidate seeks to represent. A senator must be at least twenty-five years of age at the time of election and a delegate at least twenty-one. Persons elected to or holding a civil or military office other than as a member of a reserve component under the federal or State government are not eligible for election to the General Assembly.

Each term lasts 4 years. However, members of the General Assembly are not subject to term limits. If a vacancy occurs in either house through death, resignation, or disqualification, the Governor appoints a replacement whose name is submitted by the State Central Committee of the same political party as the legislator whose seat is to be filled.

Sessions

Article III of the Maryland Constitution establishes when the General Assembly is to be in session. Section 14 of Article III states that the General Assembly is to convene in regular session every year on the second Wednesday of January.

Section 14 also contains the procedures for convening extraordinary sessions of the General Assembly. If a majority of the members of each legislative house petition the Governor of Maryland with a request for an extraordinary session, the Governor is constitutionally required to proclaim an extraordinary session.

Article II of the Maryland Constitution also gives the Governor of Maryland the power to proclaim an extraordinary session without the request of the General Assembly. Sessions last for 90 continuous days but can be extended for up to 30 days by vote of the legislature.

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Legislature will be in session from January 11 through April 19.

Major issues

Governor Martin O'Malley (D) has said 2012 is the year for a massive public works program to create jobs. Legislators are looking to boost revenue through increases in gas and sewer taxes and are considering expanding gambling in the state. Democrats are also looking to legalize same-sex marriage.[2]

2011

In 2011, the General Assembly was in session from January 12 through April 11. [3] A special redistricting session is planned for week of October 17, however an exact date is not yet known.[4]

2010

In 2010, the Maryland General Assembly was in session from January 13th to April 12th. [5]

Legislative districts

The current pattern for distribution of seats began with the legislative apportionment plan of 1972 and has been revised every ten years thereafter according to the results of the decennial U.S. Census. A Constitutional amendment, the plan created 47 legislative districts, many of which cross county boundaries to delineate districts relatively equal in population. Each legislative district elects one senator and three delegates. In most districts, the three delegates are elected at large from the whole district via block voting. However, in some more sparsely populated areas of the state, the districts are divided into subdistricts for the election of delegates: either into three one-delegate subdistricts or one two-delegate subdistrict and one one-delegate subdistrict.

Leadership

The Senate is led by a President and the House by a Speaker whose respective duties and prerogatives enable them to influence the legislative process significantly. The President and the Speaker appoint the members of most committees and name their chairs and vice-chairs, except in the case of the Joint Committee on Investigation whose members elect their own officers. The President and Speaker preside over the daily sessions of their respective chambers, maintaining decorum and deciding points of order. As legislation is introduced, they assign it to a standing committee for consideration and a public hearing. The president pro tempore appoints majority and minority whips and leaders.

Legislators

Salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2011, members of the Maryland legislature are paid $43,500/year. Legislators receive $100/day for lodging. Additionally, they receive $42 for meals and $225/day for out-of-state travel (which includes meals/lodging).[6]

The $43,500/year that Maryland legislators are paid as of 2011 is the same as they were paid during legislative sessions in 2007. Per diem has increased from 2010 levels of $96/day for lodging and $36/day for meals, but fallen from 2007 levels of $116/day and $41/day respectively.[7][8]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Maryland legislators assume office the second Wednesday in January after the election.

Senate

The Maryland State Senate is the upper house of the General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland. It is composed of 47 senators elected from single-member districts. Maryland must use 2010 Census ADJUSTED population count for Maryland Redistricting, pursuant to the "No Represenataion Without Population Act" (SB 400\HB 496) signed into Maryland law in 2010. Generally, the law requires that the census data must be adjusted to reassign Maryland residents in State and Federal correctional institutions to their last known address, and to exclude out-of-state residents in correctional institutions for the purposes of creating congressional, state legislative and local districting plas. Each member represents an average of 122,813 residents,http://planning.maryland.gov/Redistricting/home.shtml. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 112,691.[9]


Party As of December 2014
     Democratic Party 35
     Republican Party 12
Total 47


House of Delegates

The Maryland House of Delegates is the lower house of the General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland, and is composed of 141 Delegates elected from 47 districts. Maryland must use 2010 Census ADJUSTED population count for Maryland Redistricting, pursuant to the "No Represenataion Without Population Act" (SB 400\HB 496) signed into Maryland law in 2010. Generally, the law requires that the census data must be adjusted to reassign Maryland residents in State and Federal correctional institutions to their last known address, and to exclude out-of-state residents in correctional institutions for the purposes of creating congressional, state legislative and local districting plas. Each member represents an average of 40,938 residents,http://planning.maryland.gov/Redistricting/home.shtml. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 37,564.[10]

Party As of December 2014
     Democratic Party 98
     Republican Party 43
Total 141

Joint committees

The Maryland General Assembly has 19 standing committees.

External links

References