Another CPA joined the ranks of Maryland’s General Assembly on Nov. 6 as part of elections that brought turnover to more than 30 percent of the legislative body’s seats.

Arthur Ellis, a CPA who describes himself as a “Democrat working for Charles County,” defeated Bill Dotson in the race for Maryland’s District 28 Senate seat. Ellis received 66 percent of the vote. His election follows a stunning victory over six-term Sen. Thomas M. “Mac” Middleton in a June primary.

Brian Feldman, a CPA and a Democrat representing Senate District 15 in western and northern Montgomery County — was easily re-elected over David Wilson with 71 percent of the vote, and MACPA member William Wivell won one of two seats representing District 2A in the House of Delegates.

Meanwhile, CPA Gail Bates, a Senate Republican representing Carroll and Howard counties since 2002, lost in her bid for re-election by the slimmest of margins. Just 531 votes separated her and her opponent, Democrat Katie Fry Hester.

Key committee appointments
Beyond the profession’s representation in the General Assembly, a number of other election results will have a significant impact on the accounting and finance profession.

  • Del. Kathleen Dumais of Montgomery County has been named the new majority leader, the third most-powerful position in the House of Delegates.
  • Del. Luke Clippinger of Baltimore has been named chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
  • Del. Eric Bromwell of Baltimore County has been named vice chair of the House Economic Matters Committee.
  • Sen. Delores Kelley of Baltimore County has been named chair of the Senate Finance Committee, with Feldman as vice chair.
  • Sen. Paul Pinsky has been named chair of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. He has served as the committee’s vice chair for four years and has been a member since 1994. Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam will replace Pinsky as vice chair.
  • On the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Sen. Will Smith of Montgomery County has been named vice chair. Sen. Bobby Zirkin of Baltimore County remains that committee’s chair.

We are still awaiting further committee assignments to see who will take other legislative seats that will impact Maryland’s CPAs.

New legislators
In the meantime, Maryland’s Senate will see 17 new members in office when the General Assembly convenes in January:

  • District 9: Katie Fry Hester
  • District 12: Clarence K. Lam
  • District 18: Jeff Waldstreicher
  • District 19: Benjamin Kramer
  • District 25: Melony G. Griffith
  • District 26: Obie Patterson
  • District 28: Arthur Ellis
  • District 29: Jack Bailey
  • District 30: Sarah K. Elfreth
  • District 32: Pamela Beidle
  • District 35: Jason C. Gallion
  • District 38: Mary Beth Carozza
  • District 40: Antonio Hayes
  • District 42: Christopher R. West
  • District 43: Mary Washington
  • District 45: Cory V. McCray
  • District 47: Malcolm Augustine

“On the House side,” writes Larry Richardson, vice president of government affairs with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, “the Democrats appear to be in a position to pick up several seats. Of the 41 new faces that will make up the 2019 House body, 34 will be Democrat and seven will be Republican. This marks a seven-seat swing to the Democratic side of the aisle. Five of those seven seats come as the result of a Republican loss in the general to a Democratic challenger.”

Join us at CPA Day in Annapolis
Seventeen new faces in the Senate, and 41 new faces in the House. If my math is correct, that makes 57 new members in Maryland’s General Assembly … out of 188 legislators in total. That’s a turnover rate of nearly 31 percent.

That makes your participation in our 2019 edition of CPA Day in Annapolis even more crucial. These new legislators will need our guidance to navigate the issues that impact our profession and — even more important — our clients and the public at large. These legislative changes can and will influence and impact our profession, not to mention Maryland’s business and social environment. We need your input and insights more than ever.

Get further details about CPA Day and register to attend here.

As Tom Hood said recently, you can either be a victim of our political process or a participant in it. Choose to participate. Join us in Annapolis on Jan. 24 and help us strengthen our profession in Maryland … and beyond.

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