Navigating the General Assembly

MCGOP Primer – The Maryland General Assembly 2022

We need to communicate with our representatives in Annapolis. Here's how! The Maryland General Assembly meets for 90 days each year, beginning the 2nd Wednesday of January through “Sine Die” on the 2nd Monday of April.


MCGOP Primer – The Maryland General Assembly 2022

The Maryland General Assembly meets for 90 days each year, beginning the 2nd Wednesday of January through “Sine Die” on the 2nd Monday of April.

There are two chambers. The Senate consists of 47 Senators and the House consists of 141 Delegates.  Currently, there are 32 Democrats and 15 Republicans in the Senate with 99 Democrats and 42 Republicans in the House. Both of these majorities comprise more than three-fifths of the vote, thus they represent enough votes to override a gubernatorial veto in both chambers. (We would need to gain 9 seats in the Senate or 29 in the House to change that situation.)

Bills may originate in either chamber and often do as “sister” bills. Bills initially are considered in relevant committees and then are either dropped or passed on to the full legislative body. (There are seven standing committees in each chamber.) At a time roughly three quarters through the session, on “crossover day”, each bill still under consideration is sent over to the other chamber to go through a similar committee process in that other chamber.

Given the current composition of the MGA, the role of we Republicans is primarily to oppose legislation.

The earlier a bill can be killed the better.  It is most important to address bills while they are in committee. Another consideration is that legislator constituents are most effective as lobbyists. Therefore, it is best to address bills while in committee and also address bills with your actual representative if possible. 

There are a few ways to make your voice heard to those considering these bills. One can write (email) or call a representative’s office or the office of relevant committee members. In addition, one can actually present testimony, either written, oral or both, during committee “hearings” on particular bills. There may be multiple hearings on particular bills in committee.

During this current pandemic period it is actually somewhat easier to present testimony during hearings as it can be done virtually. However, there are specific protocols that must be followed in order to do so. The balance of this help sheet is intended to illuminate some of those details.

The MGA web site is

In order to do use the site effectively, one should create a MyMGA Tracking Account here:

When signed in with your account you can track bills and sign-up to testify at committee hearings, either written or oral. Also, you can also easily learn the members and activities of the committees and put faces to names of your own and other relevant legislators. In addition to following bills and signing up to testify, you can view committee hearings by clicking on the “You Tube” button in the upper right-hand corner of the MGA web site.

Two important notes:  There is a specific and limited window of opportunity to sign up to testify, usually a couple of days before the scheduled hearing. Also, if you intend to submit any written testimony, either to accompany your oral testimony or by itself, that written testimony must be submitted at the time you sign up. There are specific limitations on size and length of testimony and those specifics are dictated and indicated by each committee.

The biggest challenge is keeping up with the hearing schedule of each bill as these schedules are constantly changing for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the majority party is interested in operating in the dark as much as possible!

On the positive side, providing testimony at hearings and contacting legislators is relatively easy in this virtual, digital environment. Also be advised that although Republicans are vastly outnumbered in both houses, these Democrat legislators largely live in a Democrat bubble and in many cases have never heard the other side of the argument. Our job is to make sure that they do hear the other side. Concise creative testimony is our armamentarium.

Montgomery County Republican Party