The work group set up by Gov.Martin O'Malleyto try to reach a consensus on whether to expand gambling in Maryland is continuing to meet behind closed doors as a Who's Who of the state's lobbying corp cools their heels outside a House committee room where the panel was scheduled to hold a public session at 1 p.m.
About 3 p.m., alternate member Sen. George Edwards emerged to hit the road for Western Maryland and said it could be a while longer before the work group emerges. The panel had been scheduled to deliver its recommendations today, but lobbyists said they had heard there is still a wide gulf between the Senate and House positions. At one point, lobbyists said, the House members left the upstairs office where the panel was meeting and caucused among themselves before returning.The panel had been meeting since late morning.
The group is made up of three delegates, three senators, four O'Malley administration officials and Chairman John Morton III, the only public member of the panel. To hold its private conclaves, the panel is taking advantage of a provision in state open meetings law that defines a public body as having at least two public members.
O'Malley has said that if the group can reach a consensus that looks like it can pass both the Senate and the House, he will call a special session for July 9.