Speaker of the House Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) announced a series of changes to leadership in the House of Delegates on Wednesday, after a standing committee’s leader resigned.
And the domino effect of reassignments includes the speaker’s intention to nominate a new speaker pro tem in January, when the General Assembly reconvenes for its regular session.
Del. Kumar Barve (D-Montgomery), a veteran lawmaker who had been chair of the House Environment and Transportation Committee since 2015, announced in April that he would leave the legislature after being nominated to serve on the Maryland Public Service Commission. That resignation took effect Wednesday.
His committee’s new chair will also hail from Montgomery County: Del. Marc Korman (D), who is the current House majority leader and a former House Appropriations subcommittee chair.
“Marc has distinguished himself as Majority Leader and is a nationally recognized transportation policy expert,” Jones said in a written statement. “He will bring his considerable talents and energy to the committee.”
Another Montgomery lawmaker, Del. David Moon (D), will become majority leader, the third-most powerful position in the chamber.
“David is a proven leader in the House and a natural fit for House Majority Leader,” Jones said. “He has led the debate on some of the most contentious issues we have faced and been a powerful consensus builder in the House.”
Moon, in turn, will step away from his role as vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Del. Sandy Bartlett (D-Anne Arundel) will step into that role.
Del. Dana Stein (D-Baltimore County), current vice chair of the House Environment and Transportation Committee, will be Jones’ choice for speaker pro tem, a position that is elected by the full chamber.
The announcement from Jones’ office did not include any new leadership position for Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes (D-Lower Shore), who has been speaker pro tem since 2019, when Jones, who had been speaker pro tem for 17 years, ascended to the speakership.
There appears to be some discord.
Sample-Hughes sent a press release after 10 p.m. on Wednesday that said “it was brought to my attention by the Speaker” earlier in the week that she was being asked to step down.
The press release from Sample-Hughes said that she will continue in the role until the annual election for the position next January, when the General Assembly reconvenes.
“I will continue to faithfully serve the citizens of District 37A in the Maryland House of Delegates until otherwise. It is my firm belief that geographical diversity has a place in the Maryland House of Delegates,” Sample-Hughes said in the statement.
Jones, in the initial press release, expressed faith in the selection of Stein for the role.
“Dana has been at the center of some of Maryland’s biggest climate and environmental policy victories,” Jones said. “I’m pleased he has agreed to take on a new role with an expanded portfolio as Speaker Pro-Tem.”
Del. Regina T. Boyce (D-Baltimore City) is now vice chair of the Environment and Transportation Committee.
Other new leadership appointments announced Wednesday were:
- Del. Melissa Wells (D-Baltimore City), chief deputy majority whip.
- Del. Mark Chang (D-Anne Arundel), House chair of the Spending Affordability Committee.
- Del. Jared Solomon (D-Montgomery), chair of the House Appropriations Personnel Subcommittee.
- Del. Jazz Lewis (D-Prince George’s), chair of the House Appropriations Public Safety & Administration Subcommittee.
- Del. Courtney Watson (D-Howard), chair of the House Appropriations Transportation & The Environment Subcommittee.
- Del. Kevin Harris (D-Charles and Prince George’s), vice chair of the House Appropriations Education & Economic Development Subcommittee.
- Del. Mark Edelson (D-Baltimore City), vice chair of the House Appropriations Transportation & The Environment Subcommittee.
- Del. Nick Charles (D-Prince George’s), chair of the Ways and Means Committee’s Local Revenues Subcommittee.
- Del. Jessica Feldmark (D-Howard), chair of the Ways and Means Committee’s Revenues Subcommittee.
Barve’s position in the General Assembly will be filled by Gov. Wes Moore (D) following a recommendation from the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee — which has already voted four times this year to fill vacancies after legislative resignations. The deadline to apply for the vacancy is May 31, and the central committee is scheduled to vote on a replacement on June 14.
Barve was the first Indian-American and the first Hindu elected to a state legislature in the nation when he took office in 1991. His nomination to the Public Service Commission, the state’s utility regulator, is subject to Senate confirmation next year.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to correct the number of vacancies in the Montgomery County General Assembly delegation this year and to include a statement from Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes.