The Maryland General Assembly will not convene for a special session in May due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson announced on Monday.
“Legislators in every community in Maryland are working to help their constituents through this historic pandemic — and that’s where their focus should remain,” Jones said in a joint statement. “After consulting with health experts, this is the best course of action at this time. We will get through this together — with every branch of government working as a team until we can safely return.”
“This decision to not meet in May was not taken lightly,” Ferguson said. “This is a matter of balancing the safety of staff, legislators and the public, while ensuring that Legislators can continue their daily focus on serving their constituents and public in battling this virus, and preparing for the Recovery effort.”
Jones and Ferguson will “continue to work with legislators and their respective leadership teams to continue to evaluate the need and timing for a future special session,” the statement said.
The General Assembly adjourned Sine Die on March 18 amid concerns about the virus. The 2020 session had been scheduled to adjourn on April 6. This is believed to be the first time since the Civil War that body adjourned prior to its scheduled date. Three days prior to adjournment, Jones and Ferguson held a news conference in which they announced that the lawmakers would return to Annapolis during the final week of May for a special session. The Joint COVID-19 Legislative Workgroup has continued to meet each week while the legislature is not in session.
There are 13,684 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland as of Monday morning, according to the state’s Department of Health, while 516 people in Maryland have died from the virus.