Census“No man's life, liberty, or happiness  are safe when the legislature is in session.” — Mark Twain 

We are ready …

Our government affairs advisor, Nick Manis of Manis Canning and Associates sent us this over the weekend:

“As anticipated, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced through an Executive Order proclaiming and convening a special session of the General Assembly beginning Oct. 17, 2011. The special session is necessary to pass legislation establishing Maryland’s congressional districts. Maryland must pass a congressional redistricting plan prior to the beginning of the 2012 legislative session in order to conduct the presidential primary on April 3, 2012. The Executive Order may be found here.

“We expect the session to last approximately three to four days if all goes as planned. The governor had discussed introducing legislation regarding job creation but has announced that he will not proceed during the special session, but rather wait until the 2012 regular session, which will convene on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012.”

The last special session in Maryland was in 1997, when Maryland took up slots and our budget. In two weeks, there were close to 700 pieces of legislation, including sales taxes on accounting, tax and consulting services.

We have heard that the legislators plan to stick to the agenda this time — redistricting required by the 2010 census. According to ABC News, Maryland is one of 32 states that will not have changes in our congressional representation. (Maryland will retain its eight seats).

But, just in case, we have been preparing all summer for the risks of this special session. Our legislative executive committee and Board of Directors had us develop a strategy in the event any bad legislation shows up. We mobilized our grassroots in several town hall meetings and had a meeting with the managing partners of Maryland's major firms in September.

Stay tuned for e-mail alerts and watch this blog for any developments.

Here are some resources about the census and redistricting:

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