UPDATE: An earlier version of this article described the two senators as opponents of death penalty repeal. They are both considered proponents of repeal.
A change in the membership of a key Maryland Senate committee could hand Gov.
Muse was one of three
Miller said this week that he expects the wind legislation to be approved this year -- the third time O'Malley will have backed such a measure. But the Senate president's office said last night that the switch was not made solely for the purpose of advancing one bill.
Muse will replace Ramirez on the Judicial Proceedings Committee, which handles such highly contentious issues of crime and punishment as the death penalty. Both Ramirez and Muse are considered to be proponents of death penalty repeal, so the change would not change the panel's current 6-5 lineup against repeal.
Muse would become the second African-American on Judicial Proceedings, along with Baltimore's Sen.
The Senate president has said that if O'Malley can muster the support on the floor to pass a repeal bill, he will find a way to get the measure to an up-or-down vote.
Muse, elected in 2006, has more seniority than the freshman Ramirez, but the new Finance member is generally regarded as more of a team player. Last year, Muse ran a quixotic primary campaign against U.S. Sen.
A call to Muse was not immediately returned.
Senate Minority Leader