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A First and More Reasonable Bill Signing

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) this morning signed into law the first bill emerging from the 2009 session of the General Assembly: a measure to keep the bars in Anne Arundel County open an hour later on Inauguration night.

The ceremony itself for the emergency legislation lasted little more than a minute. The governor was wearing jeans and a bomber jacket. And there were several choice quips.

Bill's typically are signed by O'Malley and the legislature's two presiding officers. Standing in for the often-antimated and always opinionated Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) was a far more subdued Sen. Norman Stone (D-Baltimore County).

"You're so much more reasonable than I remember you," O'Malley told Stone.

As the three men passed the bill down a table and added their signatures, O'Malley motioned to Busch. "This is where [Miller] usually whispers how unreasonable Busch is," O'Malley (D) told Stone.

Stone got the assignment today because he is the former president pro tem of the Senate and was available. Busch acknowledged it was unclear whether Stone was a valid bill signer. But, he said, the bars will have closed long before any legal challenge could be resolved.

By John Wagner  |  January 19, 2009; 10:55 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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