Coronavirus Sends General Assembly Home Early

The Maryland General Assembly adjourned its annual 90-day legislative session on Wednesday, 19 days early as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first time since the Civil War that the legislature cut its time in Annapolis short.

“This has been something that I don’t think any of us could have imagined or foreseen,” Senate President Bill Ferguson said at the beginning of Monday’s floor session. 

The virus and the resulting economic turbulence cast a pall over everything lawmakers did in the final days of the session.

Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan restricted access to state government buildings, including the State House complex. That meant no more members of the public or lobbyists testifying at hearings or watching voting sessions. 

Meanwhile, legislators sped up the pace of their work. They held multiple floor sessions each day and met through the weekend. In a matter of days, they passed hundreds of bills.

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