Longtime District 20 Del. Sheila Hixson (D-Silver Spring) has stepped down as chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in Maryland’s House of Delegates.
In a statement released Tuesday, Hixson, who is set to turn 84 next month, said she was stepping down from the role so she can help with the transition to a new chairman. She will assume the title of “chairman emeritus” on the committee.
Hixson, who represents the district that includes Silver Spring and Takoma Park, has been the head of the committee that oversees legislation on taxes, education financing, gambling and elections since 1993. She was not immediately available for comment.
The new chairman of the committee will be District 14 Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Silver Spring), who will give up her role as majority leader to take the post. Kaiser has been a member of the Ways and Means Committee since 2003 and has chaired the education subcommittee since 2007.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Kaiser said Tuesday. “I’m grateful for all the lessons and leadership from Sheila Hixson. I’ve served on her committee since I came into the legislature and I’m glad she’s staying around so I can learn more from her.”
Kaiser said she believes she will assume the chairmanship Friday.
Del. Bill Frick (D-Bethesda) will become the new majority leader in the House, after serving as Parliamentarian since 2014.
On Tuesday, Frick described Hixson as an excellent legislator. “I think it says a lot that she wants to step aside and keep the Ways and Means gavel with Montgomery County,” Frick said, adding that he’s thrilled to become majority leader. “I’m excited to serve the speaker in the new role and be an advocate for our new members.”