Speaker Busch Hospitalized, May Miss Rest of Session

House Speaker Michael Busch at the 2019 MACo Winter Conference

Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch on Monday announced that he has pneumonia and may miss the remainder of the General Assembly session. Busch, who has served as speaker since 2003, underwent a liver transplant in 2017.

Speaker Busch released the following statement:

After a follow-up procedure to my 2017 liver transplant, I started feeling run-down after the Democratic Caucus meeting last Tuesday. I have developed a case of pneumonia, which has kept me away from Annapolis this week. I am staying in touch with my staff and members of House leadership and am very proud of the job Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones is doing presiding over the House.

While I hope to be back before Sine Die, my doctors have advised caution during my recovery.

According to Maryland Matters:

Lawmakers said they learned that the speaker might miss the rest of the session on Monday evening.

After the floor proceedings, House Minority Leader Nicholaus R. Kipke (R-Anne Arundel) said he and the speaker had grown closer over the last few years.

“He’s certainly had his share of health problems over the last few years, and actually that’s brought he and I a lot closer,” Kipke said. “Me and the entire Kipke family are praying for a full and quick recovery and we hope to see him back soon.”

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), who himself has missed some floor sessions this year as he receives treatment for Stage 4 prostate cancer, addressed the speaker’s announcement at the start of the Senate session Monday night.

“He’s a fighter, we hope he comes back, but we’ll do the best we can,” Miller said.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.