Delegate ends one-man special session boycott

August 13, 2012|By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

Del. Glen Glass' plans to boycott the special session of General Assembly now entering its second week in Annapolis have gone to the dogs.

Soon after Gov. Martin O'Malley announced that he would call a special session of the legislature to deal with the question of expanding gambling, the Harford County lawmaker announced that he planned to stay away in protest.

It was an idea that never gained much traction with his Republican colleagues, even though the House GOP leadership opposed the governor's decision to summon legislators back to the State House for the second time since the regular session ended in April. Generally, the point of view that's prevailed is that a lawmaker's job is to represent constituents in Annapolis when the legislature meets -- whether or not the legislator agrees with the decision to hold a special session.

Glass explained the end of his one-man boycott by pointing to the other issues besides gambling that have been raised in the special session -- especially the weighty question of how to respond to a widely disdained court decision that singled out pit bulls as being inherently dangerous.

"It is my understanding that important issues other than gambling, such as Pit Bulls and gun rights, may now be on the agenda during the Special Session," Glass said in a news release. "I feel that I have no choice but to be in Annapolis to vote on these important issues. The Pit Bull issue is one of major concern since I am myself a responsible pet owner and Marylanders are being forced out of their homes by their current landlords who face new liability issues under a recent court ruling. Because my constituents and I love animals, I have to fight for them."

There's a good chance that Glass will get a chance to cast a vote on pit bull policy, but despite his contention that "it is always and emergency when gun ownership is under attack," the delegate is unlikely to have to exert much activity in defense of the Second Amendment. Legislative leaders have shown no inclination to let gun legislation onto the floor of the House or Senate during this session, which they hope to wrap up Tuesday.

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