Committee shake-up in Annapolis
Word in Annapolis is that House Speaker Michael E. Busch is shaking up some committee assignments, particularly in the Judiciary Committee. Because of a preponderance of trial attorneys, that panel is known as a tough hurdle for tough-on-crime bills -- such as a package of domestic violence laws Gov. Martin O'Malley intends to push this session.
Del. Michael Smigiel, an Eastern Shore Republican, said this morning that he has been told Busch is reassigning him. Smigiel hopes the speaker will change his mind. "I am the only Republican trial lawyer in the entire legislature," Smigiel said after this morning's brief session. "I see no service to the people of Maryland to pull trial lawyers off the committee."
Another name rumored to be considered from removal from Judiciary is Del. Jill Carter, a Baltimore Democrat.
-- Gadi Dechter