Maryland Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Chair Edward J. Kasemeyer will retire after his term expires, creating a vacancy next year at the head of one of the state’s most powerful legislative committees.
Kasemeyer (D-Baltimore County), 72, announced his decision to members of the panel Thursday, according to lawmakers who were present.
The legislators said he told them the move was not health-related. Kasemeyer’s term ends Jan. 9.
Sen. Andrew A. Serafini (R-Washington), a member of the committee, said that “it’s a rare person in this business who has as much respect as Ed Kasemeyer” and that the budget chair’s departure will be a “loss to the citizens of Maryland.”
Sen. Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) described Kasemeyer as “steadfast and thoughtful” in his approach to the panel’s work.
“He has led the committee with an even hand and a strong focus on equity and fairness,” he said. “I will miss his leadership in the future and would be humbled to, at some point, have a career as distinguished as his.”
Kasemeyer, who did not return calls seeking comment, has led the budget panel since 2011, and his tenure in the legislature spans more than 30 years, including one term in the House before winning election to the Senate. He narrowly lost his seat to Republican Christopher J. McCabe in 1990 but won election to the Senate again in 1994 after redistricting changed the boundaries of his district.
Ferguson said he does not expect lawmakers to begin jockeying for position to take over the chairmanship until after the 2018 election, in part because many could face tough reelection bids.
Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), vice chair of the panel, is running for governor this year and is not expected to return to the legislature.