Montgomery gains a seat on key state budget panel

Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006

Montgomery County will gain one seat on an influential House budget committee for the 2007 Maryland General Assembly, Speaker Michael E. Busch announced Friday.

Dels. William A. Bronrott, Ana Sol Gutierrez and Henry B. Heller were assigned to the Appropriations Committee, which makes fiscal recommendations and helps shape the state budget.

They will replace a pair of Montgomery lawmakers who moved on to higher office: Comptroller-elect Peter V.R. Franchot (D) and Sen.-elect Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Dist. 18) of Kensington.

Del. Charles E. Barkley (D-Dist. 39) of Germantown is the only other Montgomery representative on the 26-member panel.

Heller (D-Dist. 19) of Leisure World will rejoin Appropriations; he served on the committee from 1997 to 1999. He has been House chairman of another budget-related panel — the Joint Committee on the Management of Public Funds — since 1995.

Bronrott (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda, a Busch lieutenant, will move to Appropriations from the Environmental Matters Committee. Gutierrez (D-Dist. 18) of Chevy Chase moves over from the Judiciary Committee.

Busch (D-Dist. 30) of Annapolis is expected to announce next week who will fill three vacant subcommittee chairmanships within the Appropriations panel. Barkley, who chairs the Montgomery County delegation, could be in line for one of the posts.

Aside from the Montgomery County additions, two veteran and three new delegates were assigned to Appropriations: John F. Wood Jr. (D-Dist. 29A) of Mechanicsville and Theodore J. Sophocleus (D-Dist. 32) of Linthicum, as well as Dels.-elect Guy J. Guzzone (D-Dist. 13) of Columbia, Barbara A. Robinson (D-Dist. 40) of Baltimore and Steven R. Schuh (R-Dist. 31) of Gibson Island.

Montgomery’s eight new delegates also learned their committee assignments:

*James W. Gilchrist (D-Dist. 17) of Rockville and Craig L. Rice (D-Dist. 15) of Gaithersburg will sit on the Ways and Means Committee.

* Benjamin F. Kramer (D-Dist. 19) of Silver Spring and Jeff Waldstreicher (D-Dist. 18) of Kensington will serve on the Judiciary Committee.

* Saqib Ali (D-Dist. 39) of Gaithersburg and Tom Hucker (D-Dist. 20) of Silver Spring were placed on the House Environmental Matters Committee.

* Roger F. Manno (D-Dist. 19) of Silver Spring was appointed to the Economic Matters Committee.

* Heather R. Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) of Takoma Park will join the Health and Government Operations Committee.