A curious thing happened on the way to a veto override Friday morning.
Sen. Jamin B. “Jamie” Raskin, D-Montgomery, almost missed the vote because he was in a meeting with Gov. Larry Hogan.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. was just about to take the final roll call on the vote to override a bill that would require the state Department of Transportation to develop and implement a scoring and ranking system for projects and justify in writing when funding projects that rank lower on the list.
Miller was stopped by Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., D-Montgomery, who pointed out Raskin’s absence.
The Senate needs 29 votes to override a veto. The board showed 28.
Miller ordered the clerk to ring the bells calling senators to vote. Other Democratic senators stalled for time, standing to explain their votes using their allotted 2 minutes to provide their justifications.
Three Democratic senators took their turns explaining. Sen. Robert G. Cassilly, R-Harford, who may not have picked up on the tactic inadvertently helped out by explaining why he was voting to sustain Hogan’s veto.
A few more minutes passed. Suddenly, Raskin walked into the chamber to the cheers of Democrats, cast his vote and helped the Senate override the veto.
So, where was he?
Apparently on the second floor in a meeting with Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford discussing ways to break the impasse on Hogan’s redistricting reform proposal and a possible compact with Virginia.
“Senator [Catherine] Pugh ran up and broke in to to the office to get me there,” Raskin said, referring to the Baltimore City Democrat. “I was trying to be bipartisan but I didn’t want to be so bipartisan as to miss voting. I’m glad my friend Senator Pugh broke in to get me back to the Senate.”
Raskin said the scheduling was “spur of the moment, seemingly.”