- Associated Press - Monday, April 8, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Latest on the last day of the Maryland General Assembly’s legislative session (all times local):

12:10 a.m.

The General Assembly has adjourned with a tribute to House Speaker Michael Busch.

Senators and delegates stopped working at about 11:30 p.m. Monday to gather in the House of Delegates to remember the longest-serving speaker in the state’s history who died Sunday.

Gov. Larry Hogan says Busch was a mentor, a coach and a friend to many. He says he truly became “an institution within the institution of state government.”

Del. Kumar Barve says Busch kept a simple focus on what was “good and decent for individual people, for communities or for situations.”

Lawmakers adjourned after a moment of silence for Busch, who was 72.


10:25 p.m.

The Maryland General Assembly has passed a measure to increase Maryland’s use of renewable energy.

The Senate voted 31-15 to agree to changes made by the House to send the bill to Gov. Larry Hogan.

The measure would increase the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard from 25% by 2020 to 50% by 2030.

The House put a provision in the bill to allow waste-to-energy incineration plants to be in the “top tier” of renewable energy, making them eligible for the same kind of subsidies as wind and solar.

Supporters say it will help kick start the state’s offshore wind industry, with incentives for 1200 megawatts of ocean-based power.


8:15 p.m.

The head of Baltimore’s House Delegation in the state capital says the city’s delegates are supporting a call by the City Council for Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign.

Del. Cheryl Glenn stood with members of the delegation Monday night during a break on the last day of the state’s legislative session. Multiple investigations are probing lucrative deals Pugh negotiated to sell self-published children’s books to customers that included a hospital network she once helped oversee.

Glenn says the delegation decided to make a statement, because Pugh has said she plans to return after she recovers from a bout with pneumonia.

Glenn says the delegation is encouraging Pugh to reconsider, “because we do not believe that it’s in the best interest for the city of Baltimore.”


6 p.m.

The University of Maryland Medical System’s board of directors would face an overhaul under legislation approved by state lawmakers after officials learned that about a third of the board benefited financially through the hospital network’s contracts.

The Senate approved the bill unanimously Monday, sending it to Gov. Larry Hogan.

The measure will require all board members to leave their positions and reapply to return.

It also bars board members from getting contracts with the system without a competitive bidding process.

The vote comes as Baltimore’s City Council on Monday called on Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign. Multiple investigations are probing lucrative deals she negotiated over years to self-published children’s books to customers that included a hospital network she once helped oversee.


2:30 p.m.

Maryland lawmakers are considering how to decide on a new House speaker, after longtime Speaker Michael Busch died over the weekend.

The House Democratic Caucus met with Attorney General Brian Frosh and Assistant Attorney General Sandra Brantley on Monday to discuss options.

While the speakership is vacant, House Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones assumes responsibilities.

Frosh says options include electing a new speaker on Monday, electing a speaker between now and the beginning of next session or wait until next session in January.

Del. Eric Luedtke, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, noted the state went several months without a speaker in 1973. He says he believes a decision will be made “sooner than that,” and that “we’re just trying to figure out the details.”


11:50 a.m.

One day after longtime Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch died, the state Senate has voted to override a veto of a bill he championed to permanently protect five oyster sanctuaries under Maryland law.

They did it on the last day of the state’s legislative session, as lawmakers grieved the death of Speaker Michael Busch. The House had voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto last week.

Busch died Sunday at age 72. He’s being remembered as a champion of the Chesapeake Bay,

Before Monday’s vote, senators recalled the longest-serving House speaker in Maryland history as a mentor and coach to many lawmakers over the years.

Lawmakers have scheduled a joint session late Monday night to honor Busch. They plan to gather in the House of Delegates at 11:30 p.m.

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