No 'warm Senate welcome' for Annapolis snow
The blizzards of 2010 have buried the state capital at a time when legislators are trying to plow through hundreds of proposed laws by April 12.
After taking a rare day off Monday because of hazardous driving conditions, many of the 188 senators and delegates made it to work Tuesday morning. More than 70 percent were here yesterday, possibly the worst day of the snow storms. (A majority of them take up quarters in Annapolis for the 90-day session.)
Public hearings have been canceled for several days; most were called off again today. Fear not: House Speaker Michael E. Busch says that because the snow came early in the session, he doesn't believe it will hinder the legislative work.
But for two full days now, all anyone can talk about is snow. From a story in The Baltimore Sun this morning:
Maryland lawmakers attempted, on the 29th day of the 427th legislative session, to keep their usual daily rituals and workloads. But Wednesday's storm quickly whited out those plans.
Even the morning prayer in the House of Delegates, delivered by Del. Pamela G. Beidle, an Anne Arundel County Democrat, contained a desperate plea: "While we have your attention, please stop the snow. We are ready for spring."
On Tuesday, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller hurled a verbal snowball at the city of Annapolis, criticizing what he called the municipality's "disgraceful" efforts to clear icy and slippery roads.
Annapolitans, he said, "should have better treatment from their elected officials."
"This is a high-end city," he said. "It is a very wealthy city. What was good in the 1700s is not acceptable."
We'll see if today's sunshine melts away the snow talk. Lawmakers convene as a group at 11 a.m. Almost all public hearings are off, except in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. With most reporters returning to Annapolis today, it could be a very well-covered hearing. We just need to come up with a way to make estate and trust laws seem exciting.