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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 1366   View pdf image (33K)
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1366 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF MARYLAND [Nov. 29]

DELEGATE MORGAN: We now come
to Committee Recommendation EB-1.

Section 4.01 is the section which states
that the executive power of the State shall
be vested in the governor, and that he shall
faithfully execute the laws.

This section establishes two qualifica-
tions necessary for election as governor.
The first is that a person shall be 30 years
of age at the time of his election. It is
substantially the same as the requirement
found in Article II, section 5 of the present
Constitution and substantially equivalent to
provisions found in 35 other state consti-
tutions.

The Committee feels that the 30 year
age minimum will serve as a reasonable
"rule of thumb" as to when the typical in-
dividual attains sufficient maturity to serve
as governor.

The second qualification for election as
governor is that an individual shall have
been a qualified voter in the State for at
least five years immediately preceding his
election. This requirement differs from
Article II, section 5 of the present Consti-
tution which requires that a person have
been a citizen of Maryland for ten years
and a resident of Maryland for the five
years next preceding his election.

The Committee feels that the ten year
period is much too long in light of the
mobility of today's population and that five
years is approximately that length of time
necessary to become acquainted with Mary-
land's people and problems. The five year
period is ,tied to qualification as a voter
rather than the establishment of residency
or citizenship because of the legal prob-
lems in defining these terms. The date of
qualification as a voter is the date of reg-
istration, which is a matter of public
record.

It should be noted that these first two
qualifications deal only with eligibility for
election to the office of governor. It is pos-
sible, albeit unlikely, that an individual
might serve as governor without having
met these qualifications. For example, un-
der section 4.10 of the draft of the execu-
tive article, it is possible for the president
of the Senate to succeed to the office of
governor. Hence, if the 25 year age mini-
mum for service as a senator is continued
in the new constitution, it is at least theo-
retically possible that an individual under
30 years of age might succeed to the office
and serve as governor.

The last qualification for service as gov-
ernor contained in this section is more

absolute. It provides that no person elected
governor for two full consecutive terms
shall be eligible to hold that office until one
full term has intervened. This limitation is
substantially the same as the provision
added to the present Constitution by a 1949
amendment.

The Committee gave serious considera-
tion to whether there should be any re-
striction on the number of successive terms
a governor may serve. It recognizes the
two term limit may preclude the most qual-
ified candidate from serving as governor,
and may deprive the electorate from select-
ing the candidate of their choice. However,
the Committee was swayed in favor of the
two term limit by two other arguments.

First, political experience indicates that
it is often difficult to defeat an incumbent
who is seeking re-election, even though he
may not be the most qualified candidate.
Second, the Committee feels that most in-
dividuals have a limited span of adminis-
trative effectiveness and that eight years
approximates that span.

It should be noted that the limitation
does not restrict the total number of terms
an individual may serve as governor, but
only the number of full consecutive elective
terms. Hence, it is possible for an indi-
vidual elected governor for two full con-
secutive terms to return to private life for
four years and to then be elected to two
more full terms. It is also possible for a
lieutenant governor to succeed to the office
of governor for all or a part of a four year
term, and to then serve two full elective
terms as governor.

The language "full term" is intended to
mean a four year term. Hence, section
4.02, when read in conjunction with section
4.09, raises the remote possibility that a
governor could be elected for three suc-
cessive "terms." For example, assume that
both the governor and lieutenant governor
were killed in a common disaster during
the first year of their term. Section 4.09
would then require the election of a new
governor at the bi-election for a two-year
term. The person elected governor in that
election could still seek re-election for two
more consecutive four year terms.

Section 4.03. Lieutenant Governor:

This section creates the office of lieu-
tenant governor. The lieutenant governor
will serve as a popularly elected "assistant
governor," performing those functions
which the governor may delegate to him
and which may be prescribed by law. It is
the intent of the Committee that the gov-

 

 

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 1366   View pdf image (33K)
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