ANNAPOLIS – Gov. Martin O’Malley and others honored Maryland’s longest serving legislator, Sen. Norman Stone Jr., Tuesday for his 50 years in the General Assembly with cheers and good spirits.
O’Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz honored Stone, D-Baltimore, in the Maryland Senate following an appearance from Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
Former senators and delegates who served with Stone were present, as well as Stone’s family. Legislators joked and reminisced about Stone’s service.
Stone, 76, was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1962. He was elected to the Maryland Senate in 1966, where he has served since.
A long-time Marylander, Stone grew up in the Highlandtown neighborhood in Baltimore. He attended the University of Baltimore and University of Baltimore Law School, and is a practicing lawyer.
Stone was a chief sponsor of “Megan’s Law” in 1995, which created the state’s sex offender registry, and has helped increase penalties for offenders of many types of serious crimes.
The legislator, who is the Senate President Pro Tem Emeritus, was surprised by the ceremony.
“Believe me, after all these years, I’m still nervous,” Stone said, addressing the body after a standing ovation.
“Who ever thought a kid from Highlandtown would ever be standing here today accepting such an honor,” Stone said.
“It just goes to show you, this is a great country. I am very proud to be an American, very proud to be a Marylander, very proud to be a member of this body and I thank you all very much,” Stone said.