Senate Approves Nominees to Alcohol Commission After Short Delay

    The Maryland Senate gave unanimous approval Monday night to two nominees to a new statewide commission that regulates alcohol and tobacco.

    Votes on the two nominees — Eric J. Morrissette and Barbara A. Wahl — had been postponed Friday by Sen. Benjamin F. Kramer (D-Montgomery).

    Kramer said last week he asked for the short delay to learn more about the nominees to the newly formed Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the creation of a bill he sponsored in 2019 to remove regulatory authority over alcohol from the comptroller’s office.

    On Monday, Kramer said he’d researched the candidates and they were well qualified for the panel.

    But Kramer also warned that the commission could take on greater importance in coming years if the state legalizes marijuana and shifts oversight of that drug to the panel as well. Kramer noted that there remains one vacancy on the panel.

    “I hope that the governor ensures that whomever the governor appoints will be extremely well qualified to take on the important duties of this new commission because it has an exceedingly important role to play,” he said.

    The nominees were approved without further discussion or debate.

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    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines most recently worked for Bethesda Beat covering Montgomery County. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at the Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.