House Speaker Adrienne Jones. The woman once called the “accidental” speaker by some had a triumphant session. Her “Black agenda” almost ran the board, from HBCU funding to police reform to sports betting.
Gov. Larry Hogan. Another masterful bit of triangulation by the media-savvy governor between Democrats on the left and his conservative GOP wing on the right. Sure helped that the Biden administration backed up the truck and unloaded $3.9 billion in stimulus aid.
Health Secretary Dennis Schrader. This guy was a dead man walking in February. But his dogged determination to right the vaccination ship assuaged his Democratic inquisitors and he was confirmed.
Sen. Jill Carter, D-Baltimore. She wouldn’t back down on police reform. While some of her provisions got knocked down in the Senate, the House version of the bill that ultimately was accepted reflected many of her ideas.
Sen. Craig Zucker, D-Montgomery. He was the happy warrior of sports betting. His unflagging optimism that this would be the year an acceptable bill could be cobbled together proved – in the final hours of the session – to be correct.
Sen. Melony Griffith, D-Prince George’s. Asked by Senate President Bill Ferguson to make sure that equity provisions were in key legislation she quietly but effectively did the job.
Legalized recreational marijuana. Every year advocates for legalization predict that it’s an issue whose time has come. Maybe next year.
Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George’s. Not only did his ambitious environmental legislation go nowhere, but he almost had to swallow a House leadership-backed bill on cement preferences to advance his own measures.
Fraternal Order of Police. The organization’s leadership fought off some of the more aggressive police reform proposals, but at the end of the day they lost on changes to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights and on other accountability measures.
Rebellious GOP lawmakers. Lawmakers Dan Cox, Haven Shoemaker and Rick Impallaria wanted to restrain Hogan’s authority to issue emergency orders. Their efforts drew little support. Now they have provoked a governor with a very long memory. And redistricting is coming up. Whew.