Wednesday, March 30, 2011
On Tuesday, the Maryland Senate unanimously passed (46-0) SB 501, the amended version of which shifts the Old Line state's presidential primary from the second Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday in April. The legislation would also move the primaries for state and local offices from September to the last Tuesday in June in order to keep the state in compliance with the federal MOVE act. Originally, the bill called for a first Tuesday in March presidential primary and a second Tuesday in July primary for state and local offices, but SB 501 was amended to resemble the competing Senate bill, SB 820, a bill that mirrored the House version (HB 671) passed last week. The two measures -- House and Senate -- have the bipartisan sponsorship of the leadership and have both subsequently passed unanimously. In other words, it is only a matter of time before these bills find their way to Governor O'Malley's desk for approval. And since the bills were introduced at the governor's request, his signature should be considered something of a foregone conclusion.