In a Thursday afternoon press conference, President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. announced his decision to remain in the Maryland Senate but step away from the Senate Presidency in January 2020. Miller will remain a member of the Maryland Senate (representing the 27th legislative district) but leave the position of President, an office that he’s held since 1987. His 32-year presidency in the longest in both the history of the State of Maryland and in the history of the entire United States.
Miller stated: “I have been blessed to have the life and opportunities I have had, and the opportunity to work with hundreds of wonderful members of the Senate in my time as President. Serving the residents of the 27th district is a privilege, and serving my colleagues as Senate President has been the honor of a lifetime. I am grateful to my colleagues past and present for the faith they placed in me, and I am grateful to my family and friends for their support and sacrifices along the way,” stated Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. “I have done my best to make the Senate inclusive, collegial and productive, and to remind my colleagues that they swore an oath to the State of Maryland, not to a party or parochial interest.”
He followed: “While I am announcing today that I will be stepping down as Senate President, I will continue to serve the people of District 27, with the greatest political title I will ever achieve – ‘Senator’,” continued Senator Miller. “We still have work to do, and I am concerned, as many of my colleagues are that we have fallen out of the top ten school systems in the nation according to US News & World Report. The most important goal this session must be the implementation of the Kirwan Commission report, and I intend to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move the ball forward on this critical issue.”
The notable accomplishments of President Miller include:
· Expanding efforts on diversity and leadership within the Senate by appointing the first woman and first African American standing committee chair (Sen. Cathy Reilly and Sen. Clarence Blount, respectively), first African-American Maj. Leader (Sen. Clarence Blount), and the first female President Pro Tem (Sen. Ida G. Ruben), the first African-American President Pro Tem (Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden), and the first Asian-American Majority Whip (Sen. Susan C. Lee).
· The creation of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps.
· The construction of Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium and FedEx Field
· The expansion of K-12 aid throughout the state, including The City-State Schools Partnership, The Bridge to Excellence Act, the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, and more, including under his tenure as President some $38.1B for higher education and $128.4B for K-12 education.
· Leading the effort to deregulate Maryland’s electric utilities.
· Leading the fight to keep higher education affordable, including capping tuition increases, and finding increased funding for higher education.
· Presiding through the decades-long goal of realizing the opening of the Intercounty Connector.
· Presiding over the establishment of slot machine, and table gaming in Maryland.
· Leading the effort launching the subsequent creation of the Prince Georges Regional Medical Center.
Following the announcement from President Miller, the Maryland Senate Democratic Caucus unanimously selected Senator Bill Ferguson (District 46 – Baltimore City) as its nominee to be the next President of the Maryland Senate. A formal vote among Maryland’s 47 State Senators will take place to select the next Senate President will take place in January at the beginning of the 2020 legislative session.