Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Maryland Senate Bill to Push Presidential Primary to the End of April Passes House with Amendment

Yesterday, the Maryland state Senate unanimously passed the House version of legislation to move the presidential primary in the Old Line state back to the fourth Tuesday in April. Today, the Maryland state House returned the favor. The lower chamber passed by a 138-1 vote a slightly amended version of the the Senate-passed bill -- SB 204 -- that mostly lines up with the amendment added in the Senate on Tuesday.

Circularity of all of this aside, both bills to move the 2016 Maryland presidential primary back to April 26 have overwhelmingly passed both chambers now. Yes, there are small differences across the two versions, but those could be solved either in conference or by again bringing the bills into sync with each other in the originating chamber. Given how the bills have passed -- with just one lone dissenting vote in the House on both bills -- this is not a situation similar to Mississippi where a small difference between chambers killed the effort to move the presidential primary in the Magnolia state into the SEC primary position.

This legislation would schedule the Maryland primary for the same date as the contests in neighbors, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

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