Lawmakers flock to Annapolis
Over the weekend the Legislative Black Caucus met for hours, but failed to take a stand on a draft map offered by Gov. Martin O'Malley. Some in their ranks are upset that the proposed map slices up Montgomery County in a way that they say would use minority votes to dilute white conservatives elsewhere. There was talk the group would try again to reach a consensus today.
The GOP is (more predictably) angry that the governor's map adds a chunk of liberal Montgomery County to a longtime conservative Western Maryland congressional district. The effect: The next election could replace one of Maryland's two GOP Congressmen with a Democrat. Three different Republican plans have been put forward to undo this change.
Hearings on all of the plans are set for today at 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, O'Malley and Democratic leadership will try to turn focus to a new jobs initiative. O'Malley had discussed using the special session to push an economic stimulus bill, but instead he is expected to start building support for a plan he will formally introduce in January.
House Speaker Michael E. Busch previewed parts of this this morning on WYPR, saying there's a desire to increase the number of public works projects in order to create construction jobs.
How will this be funded? The answer could include raising Maryland's debt ceiling to allow more borrowing or raising taxes to create jobs.