A Busch in the House

Anne Arundel: His decision to remain in House of Delegates is a plus for the county and region.

June 23, 2000

POLITICAL leaders in Anne Arundel County breathed a collective sigh of relief this week when Michael E. Busch, chairman of the influential House Economic Matters Committee, announced he won't give up his House of Delegates seat for a six-figure job running a quasi-public insurance agency.

That is exceptionally good news for the county, but also for the Baltimore region. And for the General Assembly, too. Mr. Busch is a rising State House star, who is viewed as a top candidate some day for House speaker.

He had to make a difficult choice.

The four-term Annapolis-area delegate, who is 53, has two daughters to put through college. He earns about $45,000 a year as an assistant superintendent in the Anne Arundel County recreation department, plus another $30,000 from his legislative job. In future years, he could face a tight financial squeeze.

But then came an offer to run the troubled Injured Workers Insurance Fund. The salary: $147,000.

That kind of money is tough to turn down, especially when you're looking at years of expensive college tuition bills.

Mr. Busch, though, found that there are rewards in life that can't be measured in dollars and cents.

To him, public service is worth the financial sacrifice.

Crafting important bills affecting banking, health care, insurance and education is far more satisfying than simply bringing home a fat paycheck.

Mr. Busch has been a solid legislator intent upon helping Anne Arundel County as well as other subdivisions in the Baltimore region. He also has set parochial concerns aside in brokering bills with statewide implications.

That's the sign of a good lawmaker. It's better to have a Busch in the legislature than in the private sector.

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