On April 7, Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D) passed away after being hospitalized late last month with pneumonia. Busch, 72, was the longest-serving House speaker in Maryland history, holding the role since 2003. He was first elected to the legislature in 1987. Busch’s death came hours before the final day of the General Assembly session, which is scheduled to adjourn April 8 at midnight.
Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones (D) has been presiding over the House floor since March 26 and will continue to do so until Governor Larry Hogan (R) schedules a special session for the House to elect a new Speaker.
Jones is seen as possible successor to the late speaker due to her ongoing leadership throughout Busch’s absence. Other possible candidates are Baltimore Delegate Maggie McIntosh (D), chair of the Appropriations committee; and Prince George County Delegate Dereck Davis (D), chair of the powerful Economic Matters committee. However, there is no clear timetable for when a special session will be called.