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House speaker creates work group to revitalize Baltimore

The presiding officer of the House of Delegates — an Anne Arundel County Democrat — has created a work group that will study ways to revitalize the greater Baltimore area.

“The Baltimore region has historically been a hub of economic activity in the state of Maryland,” House Speaker Michael E. Busch said in a statement Friday afternoon. “We need to better leverage the strengths of the region to bolster investment and job creation, including the Port of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland in Baltimore city, new opportunities at Sparrows Point and the BRAC process in Anne Arundel, Harford and Howard Counties.”

The work group will examine transportation, education and community revitalization in determining how state and local government can better partner with private entities to improve the metropolitan area.

Del. Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., a Baltimore Democrat, will chair the panel. He’s joined by two other city delegates — Mary L. Washington and Peter A. Hammen — as well as Baltimore County Dels. A. Wade Kach, Dana M. Stein and Stephen W. Lafferty. Dels. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk, D-Prince George’s and Anne Arundel, Guy J. Guzzone, D-Howard, and Brian J. Feldman, D-Montgomery, will also be part of the group.

Busch, beginning his 11th year as speaker of the House, is a staunch supporter of public education and has at times articulated serious concerns about Baltimore city schools, despite representing the Annapolis area in the legislature.