Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch announced Monday that he has pneumonia and may miss the remainder of the General Assembly session.
Speaker Pro-tem Adrienne Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat, told delegates Monday night that Busch was in a hospital.
“So, you got me right now,” Jones said. “Let’s keep him in our thoughts and prayers.”
Busch, an Anne Arundel County Democrat, was out most of last week, presiding over the House of Delegates only on the first day of the week. The week before that, he missed a few days for a medical procedure.
“After a follow-up procedure to my 2017 liver transplant, I started feeling run-down after the Democratic Caucus meeting last Tuesday,” Busch said in a statement his office released Monday night. “I have developed a case of pneumonia, which has kept me away from Annapolis this week.”
When Busch has been absent from Annapolis, Jones has run the House floor sessions. Busch said he is “very proud” of the job Jones has been doing.
Lawmakers are in session until April 8, when they will adjourn for the year. That final day is known as “Sine Die” after a Latin term used during the call for adjournment at midnight.
“While I hope to be back before Sine Die, my doctors have advised caution during my recovery,” Busch said.
Busch has represented an Annapolis-area district in the House of Delegates since 1987. He’s been speaker since 2003.
Busch’s counterpart in the state Senate, President Thomas V. Mike Miller, has also faced serious health problems this year.
At the beginning of the session in January, Miller revealed he was being treated for metastatic prostate cancer. Miller, 76, has been absent from his chamber at times this session, as he has traveled to Baltimore for chemotherapy at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Miller has used a cane, and the treatments have caused his curly, white hair to thin.
Miller, a Democrat who represents southern Maryland, has been in his post even longer than Busch, serving as president since 1987. He was elected to the House of Delegates in 1970 and won election to the Senate in 1974.