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Baltimore's Maggie McIntosh appointed House budget chief

Baltimore's Maggie McIntosh appointed House budget chief
Maryland Del. Maggie McIntosh (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore's Del. Maggie McIntosh will take over the powerful role of chairing of the House Appropriations Committee, House Speaker Michael E. Busch announced Wednesday.

The appointment of McIntosh, a 22-year veteran Democrat, returns the gavel of the House's budget panel to the city for the first time since Del. Howard P. "Pete" Rawlings died in 2003. Since then, the chairman has been Del. Norman Conway of Wicomico County, who lost his seat in the Nov. 4 election.

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McIntosh, 66, has chaired the House Environmental Matters Committee since 2003 -- a role in which she has played a lead role in crafting Maryland's anti-pollution laws. Taking over the Appropriations chairmanship can be seen as a promotion because that position is regarded as second only to the speaker in clout in the House.

In a statement, Busch praised McIntosh as "one of the most well-respected leaders in Annapolis." She takes over the chair at a time when the state budget is under the pressure of a $900 million revenue shortfall, with Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan vowing to cut the budget and roll back taxes.

The 43rd District lawmaker's appointment was one of several moves Busch made to reshuffle his House Democratic leadership team.

Busch named Montgomery County Del. Kumar Barve, who has been majority leader since 2003, to head McInmtosh's former panel, now renamed the Environment & Transportation Committee. Barve, a delegate since 1991, has been one of the speaker's closest allies over the past 12 years. Like McIntosh, the 56-year-old Barve is known as a staunch but pragmatic liberal. He is one of the nation's most prominent Indian-American elected officials.

To replace Barve as his floor leader, Busch chose Del. Anne Kaiser of Montgomery County. Kaiser, 46, has been a delegate since 2003 and will continue in her role of chairing the House Ways & Means education subcommittee.

Del. Adrienne Jones, Busch's speaker pro tem since 2003, will gain a second subcommittee chairmanship in Appropriations. In addition to the capital budget subcommittee she now heads, the Baltimore County Democrat will chair the education and economic development panel, which will oversee the budget for state universities and colleges. Jones, 60, is a 14-year House veteran.

Other appointments inlcude Del. Marvin Holmes of Prince George's County to be House co-chair of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics and Del. James Proctor of Prince George's County as House co-chair of the Joint Committee on Spending Affordability.

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