I first met Speaker Michael Busch shortly after he ascended to the office. The previous Speaker was not the most environmentally friendly and there was some trepidation mixed with hope for the new Speaker. I was spearheading the push for Maryland’s first renewable portfolio standard, or “clean energy bill,” and had failed to gain much traction. But when I met Speaker Busch, he said not only would he support the bill, he’d make it a leadership priority. He was true to his word.
I remember during the difficult hearing on the bill, when it seemed like every interest group in town was aligned against our bill, it felt hopeless. But then Speaker Busch made a personal appearance in the committee room to show his support and the gloom immediately changed to hope. We passed the bill back in 2004, and since then, Mike Busch has been responsible for making Maryland one of the most environmentally friendly states in the entire country.
His record of accomplishment as Speaker is astounding. He held one of the most powerful elected posts in our state. But what I will most remember about this remarkable Marylander is his humility and honesty. He was a good man, a mensch. I’m saddened by his recent death. We and future generations in this little corner of the world owe a great deal of gratitude to Mike Busch because he made Maryland cleaner, greener and a better place to live.
– Gary Skulnik