Ferguson Adds to His Leadership Team, Shifts Some Senators’ Committee Assignments

    Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) on Monday announced new Senate leadership and committee assignments, largely a result of former Prince George’s Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters’ recent resignation to take a slot on the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.

    Sen. Craig J. Zucker (D-Montgomery) will take over from Peters as chair of the Capital Budget Subcommittee, and Senate Majority Leader Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery) will replace Zucker as chair of the Education, Business, and Administration Subcommittee.

    Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George’s), the vice chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee, will take over from Zucker as Senate chair of the legislature’s Spending Affordability Committee. Sen. Michael A. Jackson (D-Prince George’s) will fill Peters’ slot on the Budget and Taxation Committee, moving over from the Judicial Proceedings Committee.

    Jackson, a former delegate, was elevated to the Senate at the start of the 2021 General Assembly session to fill the vacancy created by the death of late Senate Pres. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D). A former Prince George’s County sheriff, Jackson was a central voice in police reform debates within the Judicial Proceedings Committee. After stepping down from the senate president post in his final year in office, Miller found a seat on the Budget and Taxation Committee.

    On Budget and Tax, Jackson will join the Pensions and Public Safety, Transportation, and Environment subcommittees.

    Other new assignments, according to Ferguson’s office:

    • Sen. Shelly L. Hettleman (D-Baltimore County) will become vice chair of the Rules Committee;
    • Sen. Cory V. McCray (D-Baltimore City) is taking over as vice chair of the Capital Budget Subcommittee;
    • Sen. Obie Patterson (D-Prince George’s) will become a member of the Executive Nominations Committee;
    • Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-Baltimore County) will become a member of the Spending Affordability Committee; and
    • Sen. Sarah K. Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel) will become a member of the Capital Budget Subcommittee.

    The appointments take effect immediately.

    “These committee assignments reflect the depth of knowledge and experience in the Senate,” Ferguson said in a statement. “I have full faith that these Senators will excel in their roles as the Senate continues to move forward on important priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. Marylanders are counting on the Senate to be a prudent and fiscally sound legislative body that supports all residents, and I am confident that with this announcement, the Senate will continue to do just that.”

    Monday also marks the first day that Sally M. Robb is serving as Ferguson’s chief of staff. Robb, who had been the deputy chief of staff, took over for Yaakov “Jake” Weissmann, who stepped down on Friday after working for the General Assembly for the past 14 years.

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    Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the county Sen. Sarah Elfreth represents.

    Josh Kurtz
    Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.