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Summer Session

Rank and file lawmakers began reacting quickly to word they will be summoned back to Annapolis to once again joust over rising electricity rates.

State Sen. John Astle (D) said he thought a special session was a fine idea (of course, he represents Annapolis and will only have to travel two blocks from his rowhouse in the capital's historic district to attend.)

But Astle warned that legislative leaders better have their ducks in a row before they convene.

"Calling the session is the easy part," Astle said. "You put out the memo: 'Boys and girls, time to come back to school.' The hard part is to get the votes counted, so you know something positive will come from this."

In late 2004, when Ehrlich called lawmakers back into a special session to address spiralling medical malpractice rates, he did so without a plan on the table. What he ended up with what a new law, with a tax of HMOs to pay for rate relief, which he could not abide. He vetoed it, but the legislature overturned that veto.

Sen. Lowell Stoltzfus (R-Somerset) is in the midst of a cabbage harvest, but says he too will be ready to rejoin the fight in Annapolis if a special session starts in the next couple weeks, as has been predicted.

Stoltzfus said the governor tried to resolve the electricity rates matter, and his plans were scuttled by the Democrats.

"He's saying, 'It's your turn to come up with a plan," Stoltzfus said. "He is saying, 'I've done what I can do. So come on boys, give me your plan.' I think it's time to ante up.

By  |  June 6, 2006; 6:54 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly  
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