ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland state Sen. Robert Zirkin says he’s retiring after 20 years as a legislator.

Zirkin made the announcement in a Facebook post he will retire in January before the next legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly begins.

The Baltimore Democrat chairs the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

He told the newspaper that he intends to focus on his law practice, his family and a new project to help professional athletes with charities.

The announcement comes amid major changes in the Maryland Senate.

Longtime Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller is stepping down from his leadership post.

Baltimore Sen. Bill Ferguson already has been nominated by the Senate Democratic Caucus to be the next Senate president starting in January.

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