(January 18, 2005) Today the House Republican Caucus called on Speaker Busch and the Democrats to support procedural rule changes designed to bring evenhandedness and impartiality to the governance of House proceedings. The delegates will seek adoption of three rule changes to bring a more balanced and fair approach to the operation of the House.
Fundamental fairness demands that the minority viewpoint be heard and not stifled. I am confident that the General Assembly will not let down the people of Maryland, said Minority Leader George C. Edwards (District 1A)
At the beginning of each legislative session, the membership of the Maryland House of Delegates formally adopts the rules of procedure which will govern the administration of the House during that session.
The proposed rule changes are as follows:
o An amendment to House of Delegates Rule 17 Appointment, that would permit the Minority Leader to appoint Minority Party Caucus members to the minority slots on House committees.
o An amendment to House of Delegates Rule 10(C)(2) Order and Decorum, that would permit Majority Party and Minority Party Caucus Staff to enter the House floor while in session as the Speakers designees are now allowed to do.
o An amendment to House of Delegates Rule 21(A) Conference Committees, that would require, on any conference committee, that at least one member be appointed from the Minority Caucus.
These very sensible rule changes will bring a more balanced and reasoned governance to the House of Delegates and I would expect the Leadership and any fair-minded legislator to wholeheartedly support their adoption, declared Minority Whip Anthony J. ODonnell (District 29C).