Lawmakers Already Have Authority to Add Money to State Budget

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Lawmakers already have authority to add money to state budget | READER COMMENTARY
OCT 01, 2020 AT 2:47 PM

Maryland House of Delegates votes on final bills before adjourning a pandemic-abbreviated session earlier this year. One of the measures passed by the General Assembly appears as Question 1 on the ballot: a constitutional amendment expanding their budget authority. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)
Your editorial, “Question 1: Vote ‘for’ constitutional amendment on state budget authority” (Sept. 28), endorsing an amendment to the constitutional budget provisions that have preserved Maryland’s AAA bond rating declares that “Maryland [legislators] have the authority to cut the budget but not to add money.” This is flatly and shockingly untrue; supplementary appropriations may be added for a single purpose therein stated if supported by a new revenue source.
A line-item veto, overridable by a partisan legislature is not an equivalent safeguard against irresponsible commitments. All states but one have balanced budget requirements but few have Maryland’s bond rating.

George W. Liebmann, Baltimore

Posted in: Budget, Efficiency in Government, Fiscal, Judiciary and Legal Issues, State and Local Politics

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