Soon after the start of the 2015 Maryland General Assembly, House Speaker Michael Busch (D-Anne Arundel) announced new committee leadership appointments that have raised the profile and influence of several members of the LGBT caucus. Among those to receive an important assignment is Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City) who has been designated Democratic Caucus Chair.
The Caucus Chair leads the weekly caucus meeting where members of the Democratic caucus discuss the issues that will come up in the week to come in the House. Clippinger will be part of the Speakers leadership team, which includes the committee chairs, the Majority Whip, and Majority Leader. In addition, over the next several years Clippinger will be called on to provide campaign assistance for the caucus as a whole.
Clippinger, serving in his second term, represents District 46 in such neighborhoods in Baltimore City as Canton, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Locust Point, Greektown, Cherry Hill, Patterson Park, Brooklyn, Curtis Bay, and Little Italy.
“I’m honored to have earned the support of the Speaker and all of the members of the Democratic caucus,” Clippinger told the Blade. “I look forward to helping share the Democratic message over the next four years as we continue to encourage job creation, improve k-12 education, and protect our environment.”
Others in the LGBT caucus have also been given prominent roles. Del, Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery) was named Majority Leader. Dels. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) and Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery) are Deputy Majority Whips. Del. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City) is chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee.
On the Senate side, Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery) is Vice Chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee.
Besides these assignments, the above LGBT lawmakers sit on other committees. They all played pivotal roles in the passage of the Religious Freedom and Civil Protection Act in 2012 and the Fairness for All Marylanders Act in 2014.