Del. Sheila E. Hixson, who chaired the powerful House Ways & Means Committee for more than two decades, will not run again in 2018, the office of Speaker Michael E. Busch confirmed Wednesday.
Hixson, 84, plans to serve out her term and retire after more than 40 years in the House of Delegates. The Montgomery County Democrat, who took her seat in 1976, is the second-longest-serving current member of the House.
A staunch liberal, Hixson was named to chair the tax-writing panel in 1993 and held it for 24 years under five governors. She was named chairman emeritus of the committee early this year and was succeeded by Del. Anne Kaiser, also a Montgomery Democrat.
As chairman of Ways & Means, Hixson led the committee through the debates over the the tax increases Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley proposed in 2007, largely to fund the state’s education aid formula. Her panel also oversaw the legislation that opened Maryland to casino gambling in 2007 and expanded it in 2012.