Maryland General Assembly Overrides Governor Hogan’s Oyster Sanctuary Bill Veto

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In the final day of Maryland’s 2019 legislative session, the House of Delegates and Senate have overridden Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill creating oyster sanctuaries in the Chesapeake Bay and it’s estuaries.

Specifically, the legislation would create five permanent oyster sanctuaries pursuant to Department of Natural Resources recommendations under the large-scale restoration efforts of the 2014 Chesapeake Watershed Agreement. The bill would create the sanctuaries in which watermen could not catch oysters at the Manikin River, Harris Creek, the Little Choptank River, the Tred Avon River and the Upper St. Mary’s River.

Governor Hogan has expressed dissatisfaction with the bill, saying it would be harmful to the state’s watermen. The Governor said “House Bill 298 circumvents that progress and demonstrates outright contempt for those who were asked to work together to arrive at a consensus solution over the past four years.”

The bill, which goes into effect on July 1 was originally passed in the House and Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Larry Hogan. On Monday, the House overrode the veto in a 96-43 vote, and the Senate overrode the veto in a 29-16 vote. The bill was sponsored by the late Speaker of the House Michael Busch, who passed away yesterday following health complications.