Kaiser to Step Down as House Ways and Means Chair
Del. Anne R. Kaiser (D-Montgomery) announced via a short Facebook post Thursday night that she is stepping down as chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
Kaiser said she had been selected to establish and lead a new Public Leadership Institute and expand her teaching role at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.
“Given the responsibility to help foster leadership training and growth — especially for historically underserved populations in the region — I will step down as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee,” she wrote. “I intend — however — to serve the remainder of my term in the Maryland House of Delegates.”
Kaiser, who has represented District 14 in the House since 2003 and held the gavel at Ways and Means since 2017, held open the possibility of seeking another term in 2022 but said it was too early to say.
Kaiser and her fellow District 14 lawmakers — Sen. Craig J. Zucker, House Majority Leader Eric G. Luedtke and Del. Pamela E. Queen, all Democrats — filed for reelection months ago and announced their intention to run as a team.
“In all honesty, it remains to be seen whether I can balance my new role at the University of Maryland with my responsibilities in the legislature all while being a co-parent to a spunky 2.5 year old,” Kaiser wrote. “We shall see! (Wish me luck!)”
In a statement Friday, House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) called Kaiser “a tireless leader in the House.”
“She has helped to shepherd through transformational K-12 education reform, expanded tax credits for low-income and working families, and reform to the State’s tax system,” Jones said.
A change at the top of Ways and Means had been rumored in Annapolis for the last few weeks, and while Jones’ office is not saying so publicly, many lawmakers believe Del. Vanessa E. Atterbeary (D-Howard), the vice chair of the Judiciary Committee, is in line for the Ways and Means gavel.
Kaiser is unlikely to be the only House committee leader to be leaving soon. House Economic Matters Committee Chair Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s) has announced his intention to apply for the soon-to-be-vacant state treasurer position, and he’s considered the frontrunner for the job. That committee’s vice chair, Del. Kathleen M. Dumais (D-Montgomery), has applied for a judgeship and is likely to be leaving the legislature soon.
Kaiser’s departure as Ways and Means chair would presumably become effective before the General Assembly’s likely special session in early December, when lawmakers are expected to draw a new congressional map and select a new state treasurer. Davis’ presumed departure would then take place before the regular session begins on Jan. 10. Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles) is Jones’ likely pick for the Economic Matters Committee gavel.
Kaiser, 53, a political scientist and public policy expert by trade, has held several consequential positions during her time in the legislature, including House majority leader, chair of the Montgomery County House delegation, and vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus. In 2004, while testifying on a bill about the ability of family members to make medical decisions for their loved ones, Kaiser came out as a lesbian, becoming the third openly LGBTQ member of the General Assembly at the time.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D).