Senate races through bills
About a week before the end of the session, you can usually count on the TV news programs to carry a breathless report on how few bills have passes the General Assembly at that point in the session. The implication is usually that lawmakers have been slacking off or that the state is in crisis as a result.
The reason such reports are off the mark is the rapidity with which the legislature can move once it gets down to crunch time. In the time since the Senate convened an hours ago, dozens of House -passed bills have become law -- most by near-unanimous votes.
We did have a briefly interesting exchange here over House Bill 56, which came in as a Worcester County nonprofit groups' slot machines bill and somewhere along the line acquired an amendment allowing card games at Rosecroft race track in Prince George's County.
The bill passed 34-12, but not before Sen. Alex Mooney of Frederick County noted that this type of gambling expansion is why he opposed slot machines in the first place.
"It's going to keep growing and we're going to have slot machines everywhere in Maryland," the Republican said.
The way things are going, he may be right.