Rule change 1
Delegate McMillan proposed a rule change that reads “Each committee shall consider AND VOTE ON every bill and resolution referred to it” This would ensure that every bill gets a vote in committee and ending the regular practice of Committee Chairs killing bills by never bringing them to a vote.
Rule change 2
Delegate Hough proposed a rule change that would prohibit a member of the majority Party from participating as the House Parliamentarian. As you can imagine, when ever questions are raised on procedure, the current Parliamentarian always rules on the side of the Majority Party. Maryland is the only State in the country where the Parliamentarian is a member of a serving Party. Other states provide a professional, non legislative member parliamentarian for unbiased rulings on issues of procedure.
Both of these proposals will die a quiet death and will NOT be incorporated.
I certainly support both proposals.
Responding to my inquiry further clarify their ruling regarding the legitimacy of a Parliamentarian who is also a member of the voting body as well as a member of the Majority Party, the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics sent this:
” The Joint Committee determined that the position of the House Parliamentarian is informal and strictly advisory. The actual decision on a procedural ruling is made by the Speaker, subject to challenge by the membership of the House. essentially, the Speaker himself is the de facto Parliamentarian.”
” The Joint Committee found no conflict of interest in the Speaker’s action is designating a sitting Delegate of the majority party as his advisor on procedural rulings. The issues you have raised are the jurisdiction of the membership of the House of Delegates, rather than the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics.”
I have been asked about the status of my inquiry into the ethics question regarding the House Parliamentarian being a voting member of the Legislative body, as well as being a member of the ruling majority Party. Below I have posted excerpts from the letter that I sent to the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics ( Co-Chaired by Senator Norman Stone and Delegate Brian McHale) as well as their reply.
While researching in preparation of my impeachment of Maryland’s Attorney General, I came across an interesting situation. One that has led me to file an ethics complaint against House Speaker Michael Busch, regarding the appointment of the House Parliamentarian.
At issue are concerns regarding the House Parliamentarian and the fact the she is a voting member of the majority Party who, when asked questions of procedure, has always ruled in favor of the Speaker and the Democrat Party.
In fact, Maryland is the only legislature in the Nation whose Parliamentarian is a voting member of the body.
In order for the parliamentarian to rule fairly and objectively on a question of procedure, a legitimate parliamentarian is never a voting member of the organization or governing body. House Speaker Busch’s practice of appointing a voting member of the majority Party is a blatent disregard for the minotity Party.
I have and will continue to pursue a change of the Parliamentarian prior to the impeachment of March 31st.