On Sunday news broke that Michael Busch, Speaker to the Maryland House of Delegates was placed on a ventilator due to complications with Pneumonia. Hours later, news outlets confirmed that Speaker Busch passed away. He was 72 years old.
Busch served as speaker for 16 years and is the longest-serving speaker in Maryland history. He was born in Baltimore City, and was a coach and teacher at St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis when he decided to run for office in 1987. Busch served as chair of the Anne Arundel County delegation from 1991 through 1993. In 1994, he was appointed to chair the House Economic Matters Committee, and remained in the position until being unanimously elected in 2003 to serve as Speaker of the House.
“The Maryland Democratic Party mourns the loss of Speaker Michael E. Busch. He dedicated more than 30 years of his career to public service in the House of Delegates,” Maryland Democratic Party Chair Maya Rockeymoore Cummings said. “Speaker Busch has left an indelible mark on the lives of allMarylanders through his longtime leadership of the House of Delegates as a champion for the people and the environment. It was an honor to serve alongside him this year as Party Chair. Our prayers and deepest sympathies are extended to the Busch family.”
Busch’s formidable policy wins include support for marriage equality, the repeal of the death penalty, passage of a $15 minimum wage, environmental protections for the Chesapeake Bay, an assault weapons ban, and the decriminalization of posession of small amounts of marijuana—among many other major policy victories over the decades.
Maryland State Senate President Thomas Mike Miller, Jr. released a statement regarding his longtime colleague and friend:
“My heart is broken for Mike Busch’s family, the State of Maryland, and the Speaker’s extended family—elected officials and staff that he has been a mentor and coach to over his time in public service...he cared for every corner of the state, but never forgot about the people he was elected to represent. I will miss him as a friend and partner in state government and I join all the state in mourning his passing.”