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Annapolis Notes - Jan. 16

January 16, 2011

A lone D among the R’s

 
The right side of the Maryland Senate chamber is Republican territory.

But nestled in among the section where the Senate’s 12 Republicans sit is a single Democrat: freshman Ronald N. Young, who represents parts of Frederick and Washington counties.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. told the chamber on opening day of the 2011 session that it was the first time in 12 years that a Democrat was mixed in among the Republicans.

He said the plan is to rotate that lone Democrat each year, “to share this great distinction.”

Asked later about his new Senate neighborhood, Young smiled and said, “I can deal with it.”

He said desegregating lawmakers from opposite political parties would create more collegiality.

“It’s easy to be very partisan when you don’t know someone,” Young said.

Young said he’s accustomed to rubbing elbows with the GOP. His son Blaine, a Republican, is the president of the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners.

Mass moving

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Guides listing state lawmakers and their Annapolis offices became worthless last week.

With 40 legislators either new to the General Assembly or switching from the House to the Senate, there was upheaval.

Furniture, wall hangings, lamps and knickknacks were piled in corridors as lawmakers moved into their new digs.

Until this year, with a few exceptions, the Western Maryland delegates were grouped geographically on the third floor of the House Office Building — but no more.

Now, Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr. and Del. Andrew A. Serafini share a room on the second floor.

Del. Neil C. Parrott and Del. Michael J. Hough are in an office on the third floor.

Del. John P. Donoghue has been moved to the fourth floor.

Sen. Christopher B. Shank and Sen. Ronald N. Young, as new members of the Senate, also have new offices.

The only constant in the Washington County delegation is Sen. George C. Edwards, who kept his third-floor office.

Working on federal relations


In his third day in office, Sen. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, was named to the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Federal Relations.

According to the General Assembly’s website, the committee “monitors and evaluates the relations between the state and federal government, and the impact on the state, local government and Maryland citizens of proposals to alter those relations.”

Fourteen of the committee’s 16 members have been appointed. There will be eight from each chamber.

In a news release, Shank noted that he is the only Republican from the Senate and one of three Republicans overall. He also is the only representative from Western Maryland.


— Andrew Schotz, andrews@herald-mail.com
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