Fate of many bills remain in doubt as General Assembly enters final stretch

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The pace is picking up in Annapolis.

The 90-day marathon that is the General Assembly is now down to a three-week sprint as “crossover” day had some lawmakers feeling pretty cross come midnight.

Lawmakers in Annapolis are coming down to crunch time. The clock is becoming a factor in whether bills get passed or not.

One of those hurdles, crossover day, didn't go as smoothly as in years pass. Yesterday represented the day where bills passed in the House of Delegates head to the Senate and visa-versa. If not, the bills go to the rules committee with very little hope for success.

The House adjourned before the Senate came in last night and that left about 40 bills in the Senate up in the air. In apparent retaliation to the House, Senate President Mike Miller did not accept the bills passed by the House on Monday, leaving them in limbo.

Apparently, though, today Miller, along with House Speaker Mike Busch, both Democrats, have resolved their differences.

Several of the marquee bills that avoided the crossover deadline are also up it the air. The governor's minimum wage bill has passed out of the House. The Senate has not yet addressed that bill, and it is expected to get watered down by the Senate.

Another of those issues is the marijuana bills. Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County) is sponsoring a bill to have small amounts of marijuana be a civil crime instead of a person having a criminal record. The decriminalization and the legalization of marijuana will have more resistance in the House.

The last day of the session is April 7.

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