As expected, the May special session of the Maryland General Assembly has been postponed.
Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones made the announcement in a joint statement, saying it was too soon to hold such a gathering in light of ongoing efforts to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This decision to not meet in May was not taken lightly,” Ferguson said in the statement. “This is a matter of balancing the safety of staff, legislators and the public, while ensuring that legislators can continue their daily focus on serving their constituents and public in battling this virus, and preparing for the recovery effort.”
The House and Senate ended the 2020 regular session on March 18, nearly three weeks early. The leaders ended the session over concerns about the virus and its potential spread. One staff member was reported to have contracted the virus near the end of the abbreviated session.
The plan, announced at the time, was to reconvene during the third week of May.
Since then, members of a joint legislative work group on the virus have met weekly.
Ferguson and Jones said they continue to evaluate the need and timing for a future special session. Committees in both chambers will continue to meet remotely as needed.
“Legislators in every community in Maryland are working to help their constituents through this historic pandemic — and that’s where their focus should remain.” Jones said in the statement “After consulting with health experts, this is the best course of action at this time. We will get through this together — with every branch of government working as a team until we can safely return.”
The legislature sent more than 670 bills to the governor. Hogan said it is unlikely that those with significant spending will be signed into law but has not committed to vetoing those bills.
Legislation that is not vetoed could become law without his signature.
Hogan has until May 7 to make decisions on those bills.