CONSTITUTION OF MARYLAND

ARTICLE III

LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.

SECTION 1. The Legislature shall consist of two distinct branches; a Senate, and a House of Delegates, and shall be styled the General Assembly of Maryland.

SEC. 2. The membership of the Senate shall consist of forty-seven (47) Senators. The membership of the House of Delegates shall consist of one hundred forty-one (141) Delegates (amended by Chapter 469, Acts of 1900, ratified Nov. 5, 1901; Chapter 7, Acts of 1922, ratified Nov. 7, 1922; Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 785, Acts of 1969, ratified Nov. 3, 1970; Chapter 363, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972).

SEC. 3. The State shall be divided by law into legislative districts for the election of members of the Senate and the House of Delegates. Each legislative district shall contain one (1) Senator and three (3) Delegates. Nothing herein shall prohibit the subdivision of any one or more of the legislative districts for the purpose of electing members of the House of Delegates into three (3) single-member delegate districts or one (1) single-member delegate district and one (1) multi-member delegate district (repealed by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; added by Chapter 785, Acts of 1969, ratified Nov. 3, 1970; Chapter 363, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972).

SEC. 4. Each legislative district shall consist of adjoining territory, be compact in form, and of substantially equal population. Due regard shall be given to natural boundaries and the boundaries of political subdivisions (amended by Chapter 432, Acts of 1900, ratified Nov. 5, 1901; Chapter 20, Acts of 1922, ratified Nov. 7, 1922; Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 785, Acts of 1969, ratified Nov. 3, 1970; Chapter 363, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972).

SEC. 5. Following each decennial census of the United States and after public hearings, the Governor shall prepare a plan setting forth the boundaries of the legislative districts for electing of the members of the Senate and the House of Delegates.

The Governor shall present the plan to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Delegates who shall introduce the Governor's plan as a joint resolution to the General Assembly, not later than the first day of its regular session in the second year following every census, and the Governor may call a special session for the presentation of his plan prior to the regular session. The plan shall conform to Sections 2, 3 and 4 of this Article. Following each decennial census the General Assembly may by joint resolution adopt a plan setting forth the boundaries of the legislative districts for the election of members of the Senate and the House of Delegates, which plan shall conform to Sections 2, 3 and 4 of this Article. If a plan has been adopted by the General Assembly by the 45th day after the opening of the regular session of the General Assembly in the second year following every census, the plan adopted by the General Assembly shall become law. If no plan has been adopted by the General Assembly for these purposes by the 45th day after the opening of the regular session of the General Assembly in the second year following every census, the Governor's plan presented to the General Assembly shall become law.

Upon petition of any registered voter, the Court of Appeals shall have original jurisdiction to review the legislative districting of the State and may grant appropriate relief, if it finds that the districting of the State is not consistent with requirements of either the Constitution of the United States of America, or the Constitution of Maryland (amended by Chapter 226, Acts of 1949, ratified Nov. 7, 1950; Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 785, Acts of 1969, ratified Nov. 3, 1970; Chapter 363, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972; Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 6. A member of the General Assembly shall be elected by the registered voters of the legislative or delegate district from which he seeks election, to serve for a term of four years beginning on the second Wednesday of January following his election (amended by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 785, Acts of 1969, ratified Nov. 3, 1970; Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 7. The election for Senators and Delegates shall take place on the Tuesday next, after the first Monday in the month of November, nineteen hundred and fifty-eight, and in every fourth year thereafter (amended by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956).

SEC. 8. Vacant (repealed by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956).

SEC. 9. A person is eligible to serve as a Senator or Delegate, who on the date of his election, (1) is a citizen of the State of Maryland, (2) has resided therein for at least one year next preceding that date, and (3) if the district which he has been chosen to represent has been established for at least six months prior to the date of his election, has resided in that district for six months next preceding that date.

If the district which the person has been chosen to represent has been established less than six months prior to the date of his election, then in addition to (1) and (2) above, he shall have resided in the district for as long as it has been established.

A person is eligible to serve as a Senator, if he has attained the age of twenty-five years, or as a Delegate, if he has attained the age of twenty-one years, on the date of his election (amended by Chapter 880, Acts of 1974, ratified Nov. 5, 1974; Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 10. No member of Congress, or person holding any civil, or military office under the United States, shall be eligible as a Senator, or Delegate; and if any person shall after his election as Senator, or Delegate, be elected to Congress, or be appointed to any office, civil, or military, under the Government of the United States, his acceptance thereof, shall vacate his seat; except that a Senator or Delegate may be a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States or a member of the militia of the United States or this State (amended by Chapter 61, Acts of 1990, ratified Nov. 6, 1990).

SEC. 11. No person holding any civil office of profit, or trust, under this State shall be eligible as Senator or Delegate; however, a Senator or Delegate may be a nonelected law enforcement officer or a fire or rescue squad worker (amended by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978; Chapter 80, Acts of 1996, ratified Nov. 5, 1996).

SEC. 12. No Collector, Receiver, or Holder of public money shall be eligible as Senator or Delegate, or to any office of profit, or trust, under this State, until he shall have accounted for, and paid into the Treasury all sums on the books thereof, charged to, and due by him.

SEC. 13. (a) (1) In case of death, disqualification, resignation, refusal to act, expulsion, or removal from the county or city for which he shall have been elected, of any person who shall have been chosen as a Delegate or Senator, or in case of a tie between two or more such qualified persons, the Governor shall appoint a person to fill such vacancy from a person whose name shall be submitted to him in writing, within thirty days after the occurrence of the vacancy, by the Central Committee of the political party, if any, with which the Delegate or Senator, so vacating, had been affiliated, at the time of the last election or appointment of the vacating Senator or Delegate, in the County or District from which he or she was appointed or elected, provided that the appointee shall be of the same political party, if any, as was that of the Delegate or Senator, whose office is to be filled, at the time of the last election or appointment of the vacating Delegate or Senator, and it shall be the duty of the Governor to make said appointment within fifteen days after the submission thereof to him.

(b) In addition, and in submitting a name to the Governor to fill a vacancy in a legislative or delegate district, as the case may be, in any of the twenty-three counties of Maryland, the Central Committee or committees shall follow these provisions:

SEC. 14. The General Assembly shall meet on the second Wednesday of January, nineteen hundred and seventy-one, and on the same day in every year thereafter, and at no other time, unless convened by Proclamation of the Governor. A Proclamation convening the General Assembly in extraordinary session must be issued by the Governor if a majority of the members elected to the Senate and a majority of the members elected to the House of Delegates join in a petition to the Governor requesting that he convene the General Assembly in extraordinary session, and the Governor shall convene the General Assembly on the date specified in the petition. This section does not affect the Governor's power to convene the General Assembly in extraordinary session pursuant to Section 16 of Article II of this Constitution (amended by Chapter 497, Acts of 1947, ratified Nov. 2, 1948; Chapter 161, Acts of 1964, ratified Nov. 3, 1964; Chapter 576, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).

SEC. 15. (1) The General Assembly may continue its session so long as in its judgment the public interest may require, for a period not longer than ninety days in each year. The ninety days shall be consecutive unless otherwise provided by law. The General Assembly may extend its session beyond ninety days, but not exceeding an additional thirty days, by resolution concurred in by a three-fifths vote of the membership in each House. When the General Assembly is convened by Proclamation of the Governor, the session shall not continue longer than thirty days, but no additional compensation other than mileage and other allowances provided by law shall be paid members of the General Assembly for special session.

(2) Any compensation and allowances paid to members of the General Assembly shall be as established by a commission known as the General Assembly Compensation Commission. The Commission shall consist of nine members, five of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, two of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, and two of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates. Members of the General Assembly and officers and employees of the Government of the State of Maryland or of any county, city, or other governmental unit of the State shall not be eligible for appointment to the Commission. Members of the Commission shall be appointed for terms of four years commencing on June 1 of each gubernatorial election year. Members of the Commission are eligible for re-appointment. Any member of the Commission may be removed by the Governor prior to the expiration of his term for official misconduct, incompetence, or neglect of duty. The members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred in carrying out their responsibilities under this section. Decisions of the Commission must be concurred in by at least five members.

(3) Within 15 days after the beginning of the regular session of the General Assembly in 1974 and within 15 days after the beginning of the regular session in each fourth year thereafter, the Commission by formal resolution shall submit its determinations for compensation and allowances to the General Assembly. The General Assembly may reduce or reject, but shall not increase any item in the resolution. The resolution, with any reductions that shall have been concurred in by joint resolution of the General Assembly, shall take effect and have the force of law as of the beginning of the term of office of the next General Assembly. Rates of compensation and pensions shall be uniform for all members of the General Assembly, except that the officers of the Senate and the House of Delegates may receive higher compensation as determined by the General Assembly Compensation Commission. The provisions of the Compensation Commission resolution shall continue in force until superseded by any succeeding resolution.

(4) In no event shall the compensation and allowances be less than they were prior to the establishment of the Compensation Commission (amended by Chapter 695, Acts of 1941, ratified Nov. 3, 1942; Chapter 497, Acts of 1947, ratified Nov. 2, 1948; Chapter 161, Acts of 1964, ratified Nov. 3, 1964; Chapter 576, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970; Chapter 541, Acts of 1976, ratified Nov. 2, 1976; Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 16. No book, or other printed matter not appertaining to the business of the session, shall be purchased, or subscribed for, for the use of the members of the General Assembly, or be distributed among them, at the public expense.

SEC. 17. No Senator or Delegate, after qualifying as such, notwithstanding he may thereafter resign, shall during the whole period of time, for which he was elected, be eligible to any office, which shall have been created, or the salary, or profits of which shall have been increased, during such term.

SEC. 18. No Senator or Delegate shall be liable in any civil action, or criminal prosecution, whatever, for words spoken in debate.

SEC. 19. Each House shall be judge of the qualifications and elections of its members, as prescribed by the Constitution and Laws of the State, and shall appoint its own officers, determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish a member for disorderly or disrespectful behaviour and with the consent of two-thirds of its whole number of members elected, expel a member; but no member shall be expelled a second time for the same offence (amended by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 20. A majority of the whole number of members elected to each House shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as each House may prescribe.

SEC. 21. The doors of each House, and of the Committee of the Whole, shall be open, except when the business is such as ought to be kept secret.

SEC. 22. Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and cause the same to be published. The yeas and nays of members on any question, shall at the call of any five of them in the House of Delegates, or one in the Senate, be entered on the Journal.

SEC. 23. Each House may punish by imprisonment, during the session of the General Assembly, any person, not a member, for disrespectful, or disorderly behavior in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings, or any of its officers in the execution of their duties; provided, such imprisonment shall not, at any one time, exceed ten days.

SEC. 24. The House of Delegates may inquire, on the oath of witnesses, into all complaints, grievances and offences, as the grand inquest of the State, and may commit any person, for any crime, to the public jail, there to remain, until discharged by due course of Law. They may examine and pass all accounts of the State, relating either to the collection or expenditure of the revenue, and appoint auditors to state and adjust the same. They may call for all public, or official papers and records, and send for persons, whom they may judge necessary in the course of their inquiries, concerning affairs relating to the public interest, and may direct all office bonds which shall be made payable to the State, to be sued for any breach thereof; and with a view to the more certain prevention, or correction of the abuses in the expenditures of the money of the State, the General Assembly shall create, at every session thereof, a Joint Standing Committee of the Senate and House of Delegates, who shall have power to send for persons, and examine them on oath, and call for Public, or Official Papers and Records, and whose duty it shall be to examine and report upon all contracts made for printing stationery, and purchases for the Public offices, and the Library, and all expenditures therein, and upon all matters of alleged abuse in expenditures, to which their attention may be called by Resolution of either House of the General Assembly.

SEC. 25. Neither House shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, at any one time, nor adjourn to any other place, than that in which the House shall be sitting, without the concurrent vote of two-thirds of the members present.

SEC. 26. The House of Delegates shall have the sole power of impeachment in all cases; but a majority of all the members elected must concur in the impeachment. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate, and when sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath, or affirmation, to do justice according to the law and evidence; but no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Senators elected.

SEC. 27. (a) Any bill may originate in either House of the General Assembly and be altered, amended or rejected by the other. No bill shall originate in either House during the last thirty-five calendar days of a regular session, unless two-thirds of the members elected thereto shall so determine by yeas and nays, and in addition the two Houses by joint and similar rule may further regulate the right to introduce bills during this period. A bill may not become a law until it is read on three different days of the session in each House, unless two-thirds of the members elected to the House where such bill is pending determine by yeas and nays, and no bill shall be read a third time until it shall have been actually engrossed or printed for a third reading.

(b) Each House may adopt by rule a "consent calendar" procedure permitting bills to be read and voted upon as a single group on first, second and third readings, provided that the members of each House are afforded reasonable notice of the bills to be placed upon each "consent calendar." Upon the objection of any member, any bill in question shall be removed from the "consent calendar" (amended by Chapter 497, Acts of 1912, ratified Nov. 4, 1913; Chapter 616, Acts of 1955, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 161, Acts of 1964, ratified Nov. 3, 1964; Chapter 576, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970; Chapter 369, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972; Chapter 793, Acts of 1988, ratified Nov. 8, 1988).

SEC. 28. No bill, nor single group of bills placed on the "consent calendar," shall become a Law unless it be passed in each House by a majority of the whole number of members elected, and on its final passage, the yeas and nays be recorded, and on final passage of the bills placed on the "consent calendar" the yeas and nays on the entire group of bills be recorded. A resolution requiring the action of both Houses shall be passed in the same manner (amended by Chapter 369, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972).

SEC. 29. The style of all Laws of this State shall be, "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland:" and all Laws shall be passed by original bill; and every Law enacted by the General Assembly shall embrace but one subject, and that shall be described in its title; and no Law, nor section of Law, shall be revived, or amended by reference to its title, or section only; nor shall any Law be construed by reason of its title, to grant powers, or confer rights which are not expressly contained in the body of the Act; and it shall be the duty of the General Assembly, in amending any article, or section of the Code of Laws of this State, to enact the same, as the said article, or section would read when amended. And whenever the General Assembly shall enact any Public General Law, not amendatory of any section, or article in the said Code, it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to enact the same, in articles and sections, in the same manner, as the Code is arranged, and to provide for the publication of all additions and alterations, which may be made to the said Code.

SEC. 30. Every bill, when passed by the General Assembly, and sealed with the Great Seal, shall be presented by the presiding officer of the House in which it originated to the Governor for his approval. All bills passed during a regular or special session shall be presented to the Governor for his approval no later than 20 days after adjournment. Within 30 days after presentment, if the Governor approves the bill, he shall sign the same in the presence of the presiding officers and Chief Clerks of the Senate and House of Delegates. Every Law shall be recorded in the office of the Court of Appeals, and in due time, be printed, published and certified under the Great Seal, to the several Courts, in the same manner as has been heretofore usual in this State (amended by Chapter 883, Acts of 1974, ratified Nov. 5, 1974).

SEC. 31. A Law passed by the General Assembly shall take effect the first day of June next after the session at which it may be passed, unless it be otherwise expressly declared therein or provided for in this Constitution (amended by Chapter 883, Acts of 1974, ratified Nov. 5, 1974).

SEC. 32. No money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the State, by any order or resolution, nor except in accordance with an appropriation by Law; and every such Law shall distinctly specify the sum appropriated, and the object, to which it shall be applied; provided, that nothing herein contained, shall prevent the General Assembly from placing a contingent fund at the disposal of the Executive, who shall report to the General Assembly, at each Session, the amount expended, and the purposes to which it was applied. An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money, shall be attached to, and published with the Laws, after each regular Session of the General Assembly.

SEC. 33. The General Assembly shall not pass local, or special Laws, in any of the following enumerated cases, viz.: For extending the time for the collection of taxes; granting divorces; changing the name of any person; providing for the sale of real estate, belonging to minors, or other persons laboring under legal disabilities, by executors, administrators, guardians or trustees; giving effect to informal, or invalid deeds or wills; refunding money paid into the State Treasury, or releasing persons from their debts, or obligations to the State, unless recommended by the Governor, or officers of the Treasury Department. And the General Assembly shall pass no special Law, for any case, for which provision has been made, by an existing General Law. The General Assembly, at its first Session after the adoption of this Constitution, shall pass General Laws, providing for the cases enumerated in this section, which are not already adequately provided for, and for all other cases, where a General Law can be made applicable.

SEC. 34. No debt shall be hereafter contracted by the General Assembly unless such debt shall be authorized by a law providing for the collection of an annual tax or taxes sufficient to pay the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to discharge the principal thereof within fifteen years from the time of contracting the same; and the taxes laid for this purpose shall not be repealed or applied to any other object until the said debt and interest thereon shall be fully discharged. The annual tax or taxes required to be collected shall not be collected in the event that sufficient funds to pay the principal and interest on the debt are appropriated for this purpose in the annual State budget. The credit of the State shall not in any manner be given, or loaned to, or in aid of any individual association or corporation; nor shall the General Assembly have the power to involve the State in the construction of works of internal improvement which shall involve the faith or credit of the State, except in aid of the construction of works of internal improvement in the counties of St. Mary's, Charles and Calvert, which have had no direct advantage from such works as have been heretofore aided by the State; and provided that such aid, advances or appropriations shall not exceed in the aggregate the sum of five hundred thousand dollars. And they shall not use or appropriate the proceeds of the internal improvement companies, or of the State tax, now levied, or which may hereafter be levied, to pay off the public debt or to any other purpose until the interest and debt are fully paid or the sinking fund shall be equal to the amount of the outstanding debt; but the General Assembly may authorize the Board of Public Works to direct the State Treasurer to borrow in the name of the State, in anticipation of the collection of taxes or other revenues, including proceeds from the sale of bonds, such sum or sums as may be necessary to meet temporary deficiencies in the treasury, to preserve the best interest of the State in the conduct of the various State institutions, departments, bureaus, and agencies during each fiscal year. Subject to the approval of the Board of Public Works and as provided by law, the State Treasurer is authorized to make and sell short-term notes, in the name of the State, in anticipation of the collection of taxes or other revenues, including proceeds from the sale of bonds to meet temporary deficiencies in the Treasury, but such notes must only be made to provide for appropriations already made by the General Assembly. Any revenues anticipated for the purpose of short-term notes, made and sold under the authority of this section, must be so certain as to be readily estimable as to the time of receipt of the revenues and as to the amount of the revenues. The General Assembly may contract debts to any amount that may be necessary for the defense of the State, and provided further that nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the raising of funds for the purpose of aiding or compensating in such manner or way as the General Assembly of the State shall deem proper, those citizens of the State who have served, with honor, their Country and State in time of War; provided, however, that such action of the General Assembly shall be effective only when submitted to and approved by a vote of the people of the State at the General Election next following the enactment of such legislation (amended by Chapter 327, Acts of 1924, ratified Nov. 4, 1924; Chapter 234, Acts of 1959, ratified Nov. 8, 1960; Chapter 372, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972; Chapter 551, Acts of 1976, ratified Nov. 2, 1976; Chapter 600, Acts of 1982, ratified Nov. 2, 1982).

SEC. 35. Extra compensation may not be granted or allowed by the General Assembly to any public Officer, Agent, Servant or Contractor, after the service has been rendered, or the contract entered into; nor may the salary or compensation of any public officer be increased or diminished during his term of office except those whose full term of office is fixed by law in excess of 4 years. However, after January 1, 1956, for services rendered after that date, the salary or compensation of any appointed public officer of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore may be increased or diminished at any time during his term of office; except that as to officers in the Classified City Service, when the salary of any appointed public officer of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore however, increased or decreased, it may not again be increased or decreased, as the case may be, during the term of such public officer (amended by Chapter 416, Acts of 1957, ratified Nov. 4, 1958; Chapter 547, Acts of 1976, ratified Nov. 2, 1976; Chapter 976, Acts of 1978, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 35A. Nothing in this Constitution shall exempt the salary or compensation of any judge or other public officer from the imposition by the General Assembly of a non-discriminatory tax upon income, (added by Chapter 771, Acts of 1939, ratified Nov. 5, 1940).

SEC. 36. No Lottery grant shall ever hereafter be authorized by the General Assembly, unless it is a lottery to be operated by and for the benefit of the State (amended by Chapter 364, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972).

SEC. 37. Vacant (repealed by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 38. No person shall be imprisoned for debt, but a valid decree of a court of competent jurisdiction or agreement approved by decree of said court for the support of a spouse or dependent children, or for the support of an illegitimate child or children, or for alimony (either common law or as defined by statute), shall not constitute a debt within the meaning of this section (amended by Chapter 14, Acts of 1950, ratified Nov. 7, 1950; Chapter 121, Acts of 1962, ratified Nov. 6, 1962; Chapter 321, Acts of 1982, ratified Nov. 2, 1982).

SEC. 39. The books, papers and accounts of all banks shall be open to inspection under such regulations as may be prescribed by law (amended by Chapter 151, Acts of Special Session of 1936, ratified Nov. 3, 1936).

SEC. 40. The General Assembly shall enact no Law authorizing private property to be taken for public use without just compensation, as agreed upon between the parties, or awarded by a jury, being first paid or tendered to the party entitled to such compensation.

SEC. 40A. The General Assembly shall enact no law authorizing private property to be taken for public use without just compensation, to be agreed upon between the parties, or awarded by a jury, being first paid or tendered to the party entitled to such compensation, but where such property is situated in Baltimore City and is desired by this State or by the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, the General Assembly may provide that such property may be taken immediately upon payment therefor to the owner or owners thereof by the State or by the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, or into court, such amount as the State or the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, as the case may be, shall estimate to be the fair value of said property, provided such legislation also requires the payment of any further sum that may subsequently be added by a jury; and further provided that the authority and procedure for the immediate taking of property as it applies to the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore on June 1, 1961, shall remain in force and effect to and including June 1, 1963, and where such property is situated in Baltimore County and is desired by Baltimore County, Maryland, the County Council of Baltimore County, Maryland, may provide for the appointment of an appraiser or appraisers by a Court of Record to value such property and that upon payment of the amount of such evaluation, to the party entitled to compensation, or into Court, and securing the payment of any further sum that may be awarded by a jury, such property may be taken; and where such property is situated in Montgomery County and in the judgment of and upon a finding by the County Council of said County that there is immediate need therefor for right of way for County roads or streets, the County Council may provide that such property may be taken immediately upon payment therefor to the owner or owners thereof, or into court, such amount as a licensed real estate broker or a licensed and certified real estate appraiser appointed by the County Council shall estimate to be the fair market value of such property, provided that the Council shall secure the payment of any further sum that may subsequently be awarded by a jury. In the various municipal corporations within Cecil County, where in the judgment of and upon a finding by the governing body of said municipal corporation that there is immediate need therefor for right of way for municipal roads, streets and extension of municipal water and sewage facilities, the governing body may provide that such property may be taken immediately upon payment therefor to the owner or owners thereof, or into court, such amount as a licensed real estate broker appointed by the particular governing body shall estimate to be a fair market value of such property, provided that the municipal corporation shall secure the payment of any further sum that subsequently may be awarded by a jury. This Section 40A shall not apply in Montgomery County or any of the various municipal corporations within Cecil County, if the property actually to be taken includes a building or buildings (amended by Chapter 402, Acts of 1912, ratified Nov. 4, 1913; Chapters 224 and 604, Acts of 1959, ratified Nov. 8, 1960; Chapter 329, Acts of 1961, ratified Nov. 6, 1962; Chapter 100, Acts of 1962, ratified Nov. 6, 1962; Chapter 304, Acts of 1966, ratified Nov. 8, 1966; Chapter 589, Acts of 2002, ratified Nov. 5, 2002).

SEC. 40B. The General Assembly shall enact no law authorizing private property to be taken for public use without just compensation, to be agreed upon between the parties or awarded by a jury, being first paid or tendered to the party entitled to such compensation, except that where such property in the judgment of the State Roads Commission is needed by the State for highway purposes, the General Assembly may provide that such property may be taken immediately upon payment therefor to the owner or owners thereof by said State Roads Commission, or into Court, such amount as said State Roads Commission shall estimate to be of the fair value of said property, provided such legislation also requires the payment of any further sum that may subsequently be awarded by a jury (added by Chapter 607, Acts of 1941, ratified Nov. 3, 1942).

SEC. 40C. The General Assembly shall enact no law authorizing private property to be taken for public use without just compensation, to be agreed upon between the parties or awarded by a jury, being first paid or tendered to the party entitled to such compensation, except that where such property, located in Prince George's County in this State, is in the judgment of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission needed for water supply, sewerage and drainage systems to be extended or constructed by the said Commission, the General Assembly may provide that such property, except any building or buildings may be taken immediately upon payment therefor by the condemning authority to the owner or owners thereof or into the Court to the use of the person or persons entitled thereto, such amount as the condemning authority shall estimate to be the fair value of said property, provided such legislation requires that the condemning authority's estimate be not less than the appraised value of the property being taken as evaluated by at least one qualified appraiser, whose qualifications have been accepted by a Court of Record of this State, and also requires the payment of any further sum that may subsequently be awarded by a jury, and provided such legislation limits the condemning authority's utilization of the acquisition procedures specified in this section to occasions where it has acquired or is acquiring by purchase or other procedures one-half or more of the several takings of land or interests in land necessary for any given water supply, sewerage or drainage extension or construction project (added by Chapter 781, Acts of 1965, ratified Nov. 8, 1966).

SEC. 40D. Vacant (repealed by Chapter 683, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 41. Vacant (repealed by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 42. Vacant (transferred to Article I, sec. 7, by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 43. The property of the wife shall be protected from the debts of her husband.

SEC. 44. Laws shall be passed by the General Assembly, to protect from execution a reasonable amount of the property of the debtor (amended by Chapter 549, Acts of 1976, ratified Nov. 2, 1976).

SEC. 45. The General Assembly shall provide a simple and uniform system of charges in the offices of Clerks of Courts and Registers of Wills, in the Counties of this State and the City of Baltimore, and for the collection thereof; provided, the amount of compensation to any of the said officers in the various Counties and in the City of Baltimore shall be such as may be prescribed by law (amended by Chapter 509, Acts of 1941, ratified Nov. 3, 1942).

SEC. 46. The General Assembly shall have power to receive from the United States, any grant, or donation of land, money, or securities for any purpose designated by the United States, and shall administer, or distribute the same according to the conditions of the said grant.

SEC. 47. Vacant (transferred to Article I, sec. 8, by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 48. Corporations may be formed under general laws, but shall not be created by special act, except for municipal purposes and except in cases where no general laws exist, providing for the creation of corporations of the same general character, as the corporation proposed to be created; and any act of incorporation passed in violation of this section shall be void. All charters granted, or adopted in pursuance of this section, and all charters heretofore granted and created, subject to repeal or modification, may be altered, from time to time, or be repealed; Provided, nothing herein contained shall be construed to extend to Banks, or the incorporation thereof. The General Assembly shall not alter or amend the charter, of any corporation existing at the time of the adoption of this Article, or pass any other general or special law for the benefit of such corporation, except upon the condition that such corporation shall surrender all claim to exemption from taxation or from the repeal or modification of its charter, and that such corporation shall thereafter hold its charter subject to the provisions of this Constitution; and any corporation chartered by this State which shall accept, use, enjoy, or in any wise avail itself of any rights, privileges, or advantages that may hereafter be granted or conferred by any general or special act, shall be conclusively presumed to have thereby surrendered any exemption from taxation to which it may be entitled under its charter, and shall be thereafter subject to taxation as if no such exemption has been granted by its charter (amended by Chapter 195, Acts of 1890, ratified Nov. 3, 1891).

SEC. 49. The General Assembly shall have power to regulate by Law, not inconsistent with this Constitution, all matters which relate to the Judges of election, time, place and manner of holding elections in this State, and of making returns thereof.

SEC. 50. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly, at its first session, held after the adoption of this Constitution, to provide by Law for the punishment, by fine, or imprisonment in the Penitentiary, or both, in the discretion of the Court, of any person, who shall bribe, or attempt to bribe, any Executive, or Judicial officer of the State of Maryland, or any member, or officer, of the General Assembly of the State of Maryland, or of any Municipal corporation in the State of Maryland, or any Executive officer of such corporation, in order to influence him in the performance of any of his official duties; and, also, to provide by Law for the punishment, by fine, or imprisonment in the Penitentiary, or both, in the discretion of the Court, of any of said officers, or members, who shall demand, or receive any bribe, fee, reward, or testimonial, for the performance of his official duties, or for neglecting, or failing to perform the same; and, also, to provide by Law for compelling any person, so bribing, or attempting to bribe, or so demanding, or receiving a bribe, fee, reward, or testimonial, to testify against any person, or persons, who may have committed any of said offences; provided, that any person, so compelled to testify, shall be exempted from trial and punishment for the offence, of which he may have been guilty; and any person, convicted of such offence, shall, as part of the punishment thereof, be forever disfranchised and disqualified from holding any office of trust, or profit, in this State.

SEC. 51. The personal property of residents of this State, shall be subject to taxation in the County or City where the resident bona fide resides for the greater part of the year for which the tax may or shall be levied, and not elsewhere, except goods and chattels permanently located, which shall be taxed in the City or County where they are so located, but the General Assembly may by law provide for the taxation of mortgages upon property in this State and the debts secured thereby, in the County or City where such property is situated (amended by Chapter 426, Acts of 1890, ratified Nov. 3, 1891).

SEC. 52. (1) The General Assembly shall not appropriate any money out of the Treasury except in accordance with the provisions of this section (amended by Chapter 159, Acts of 1916, ratified Nov. 7, 1916; Chapter 497, Acts of 1947, ratified Nov. 2, 1948).

(2) Every appropriation bill shall be either a Budget Bill, or a Supplementary Appropriation Bill, as hereinafter provided.

(3) On the third Wednesday in January in each year, (except in the case of a newly elected Governor, and then not later than ten days after the convening of the General Assembly), unless such time shall be extended by the General Assembly, the Governor shall submit to the General Assembly a Budget for the next ensuing fiscal year. Each Budget shall contain a complete plan of proposed expenditures and estimated revenues for said fiscal year and shall show the estimated surplus or deficit of revenues at the end of the preceding fiscal year. Accompanying each Budget shall be a statement showing: (a) the revenues and expenditures for the preceding fiscal year; (b) the current assets, liabilities, reserves and surplus or deficit of the State; (c) the debts and funds of the State; (d) an estimate of the State's financial condition as of the beginning and end of the preceding fiscal year; (e) any explanation the Governor may desire to make as to the important features of the Budget and any suggestions as to methods for reduction or increase of the State's revenue (amended by Chapter 725, Acts of 1955, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 161, Acts of 1964, ratified Nov. 3, 1964).

(4) Each Budget shall embrace an estimate of all appropriations in such form and detail as the Governor shall determine or as may be prescribed by law, as follows: (a) for the General Assembly as certified to the Governor in the manner hereinafter provided; (b) for the Executive Department; (c) for the Judiciary Department, as provided by law, as certified to the Governor; (d) to pay and discharge the principal and interest of the debt of the State in conformity with Section 34 of Article III of the Constitution, and all laws enacted in pursuance thereof; (e) for the salaries payable by the State and under the Constitution and laws of the State; (f) for the establishment and maintenance throughout the State of a thorough and efficient system of public schools in conformity with Article 8 of the Constitution and with the laws of the State; and (g) for such other purposes as are set forth in the Constitution or laws of the State (amended by Chapter 20, Acts of 1952, ratified Nov. 4, 1952; Chapter 62, Acts of 1990, ratified Nov. 6, 1990).

(5) The Governor shall deliver to the presiding officer of each House the Budget and a bill for all the proposed appropriations of the Budget classified and in such form and detail as he shall determine or as may be prescribed by law; and the presiding officer of each House shall promptly cause said bill to be introduced therein, and such bill shall be known as the "Budget Bill." The Governor may, with the consent of the General Assembly, before final action thereon by the General Assembly, amend or supplement said Budget to correct an oversight, provide funds contingent on passage of pending legislation or, in case of an emergency, by delivering such an amendment or supplement to the presiding officers of both Houses; and such amendment or supplement shall thereby become a part of said Budget Bill as an addition to the items of said bill or as a modification of or a substitute for any item of said bill such amendment or supplement may affect (amended by Chapter 20, Acts of 1952, ratified Nov. 4, 1952).

(5a) The Budget and the Budget Bill as submitted by the Governor to the General Assembly shall have a figure for the total of all proposed appropriations and a figure for the total of all estimated revenues available to pay the appropriations, and the figure for total proposed appropriations shall not exceed the figure for total estimated revenues. Neither the Governor in submitting an amendment or supplement to the Budget Bill nor the General Assembly in amending the Budget Bill shall thereby cause the figure for total proposed appropriations to exceed the figure for total estimated revenues, including any revisions, and in the Budget Bill as enacted the figure for total estimated revenues always shall be equal to or exceed the figure for total appropriations (added by Chapter 745, Acts of 1973, ratified Nov. 5, 1974).

(6) The General Assembly shall not amend the Budget Bill so as to affect either the obligations of the State under Section 34 of Article III of the Constitution, or the provisions made by the laws of the State for the establishment and maintenance of a system of public schools or the payment of any salaries required to be paid by the State of Maryland by the Constitution thereof; and the General Assembly may amend the bill by increasing or diminishing the items therein relating to the General Assembly, and by increasing or diminishing the items therein relating to the judiciary, but except as hereinbefore specified, may not alter the said bill except to strike out or reduce items therein, provided, however, that the salary or compensation of any public officer shall not be decreased during his term of office; and such bill, when and as passed by both Houses, shall be a law immediately without further action by the Governor (amended by Chapter 373, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972).

(7) The Governor and such representatives of the executive departments, boards, officers and commissions of the State expending or applying for State's moneys, as have been designated by the Governor for this purpose, shall have the right, and when requested by either House of the General Assembly, it shall be their duty to appear and be heard with respect to any Budget Bill during the consideration thereof, and to answer inquiries relative thereto (amended by Chapter 159, Acts of 1916, ratified Nov. 7, 1916; Chapter 497, Acts of 1947, ratified Nov. 2, 1948).

(8) Supplementary Appropriation Bill. Either House may consider other appropriations but both Houses shall not finally act upon such appropriations until after the Budget Bill has been finally acted upon by both Houses, and no such other appropriation shall be valid except in accordance with the provisions following: (a) Every such appropriation shall be embodied in a separate bill limited to some single work, object or purpose therein stated and called herein a Supplementary Appropriation Bill; (b) Each Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall provide the revenue necessary to pay the appropriation thereby made by a tax, direct or indirect, to be levied and collected as shall be directed in said bill; (c) No Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall become a law unless it be passed in each House by a vote of a majority of the whole number of the members elected, and the yeas and nays recorded on its final passage; (d) Each Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall be presented to the Governor of the State as provided in Section 17 of Article 2 of the Constitution and thereafter all the provisions of said section shall apply (amended by Chapter 416, Acts of 1966, ratified Nov. 8, 1966).

(9) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the General Assembly from passing at any time, in accordance with the provisions of Section 28 of Article 3 of the Constitution and subject to the Governor's power of approval as provided in Section 17 of Article 2 of the Constitution, an appropriation bill to provide for the payment of any obligation of the State within the protection of Section 10 of Article 1 of the Constitution of the United States (amended by Chapter 159, Acts of 1916, ratified Nov. 7, 1916; Chapter 497, Acts of 1947, ratified Nov. 2, 1948).

(10) If the Budget Bill shall not have been finally acted upon by the Legislature seven days before the expiration of the regular session, the Governor shall issue a proclamation extending the session for some further period as may, in his judgment, be necessary for the passage of such bill; but no other matter than such bill shall be considered during such extended session except a provision for the cost thereof (amended by Chapter 576, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).

(11) For the purpose of making up the Budget, the Governor shall require from the proper State officials (including all executive departments, all executive and administrative offices, bureaus, boards, commissions and agencies that expend or supervise the expenditure of, and all institutions applying for State moneys and appropriations) such itemized estimates and other information, in such form and at such times as directed by the Governor. An estimate for a program required to be funded by a law which will be in effect during the fiscal year covered by the Budget and which was enacted before July 1 of the fiscal year prior to that date shall provide a level of funding not less than that prescribed in the law. The estimates for the Legislative Department, certified by the presiding officer of each House, of the Judiciary, as provided by law, certified by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, and for the public schools, as provided by law, shall be transmitted to the Governor, in such form and at such times as directed by the Governor, and shall be included in the Budget without revision (amended by Chapter 971, Acts of 1978, ratified Nov. 7, 1978; Chapter 62, Acts of 1990, ratified Nov. 6, 1990).

(12) The Governor may provide for public hearings on all estimates and may require the attendance at such hearings of representatives of all agencies, and for all institutions applying for State moneys. After such public hearings he may, in his discretion, revise all estimates except those for the legislative and judiciary departments, and for the public schools, as provided by law, and except that he may not reduce an estimate for a program below a level of funding prescribed by a law which will be in effect during the fiscal year covered by the Budget, and which was enacted before July 1 of the fiscal year prior thereto (amended by Chapter 971, Acts of 1978, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

(13) The General Assembly may, from time to time, enact such laws not inconsistent with this section, as may be necessary and proper to carry out its provisions.

(14) In the event of any inconsistency between any of the provisions of this Section and any of the other provisions of the Constitution, the provisions of this Section shall prevail. But nothing herein shall in any manner affect the provisions of Section 34 of Article 3 of the Constitution or of any laws heretofore or hereafter passed in pursuance thereof, or be construed as preventing the Governor from calling extraordinary sessions of the General Assembly, as provided by Section 16 of Article 2, or as preventing the General Assembly at such extraordinary sessions from considering any emergency appropriation or appropriations (amended by Chapter 159, Acts of 1916, ratified Nov. 7, 1916; Chapter 497, Acts of 1947, ratified Nov. 2, 1948).

(15) If any item of any appropriation bill passed under the provisions of this Section shall be held invalid upon any ground, such invalidity shall not affect the legality of the bill or of any other item of such bill or bills.

SEC. 53. (a) There is a Transportation Trust Fund.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, the funds in the Transportation Trust Fund may be used only:

(c) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, funds in the Transportation Trust Tund may not be transferred to the General Fund or a special fund of the State.

(d) This section does not apply to:

(e) Funds in the Transportation Trust Fund may be used for a purpose not related to transportation or transferred to the General Fund or a special fund of the State if:

(added by Chapter 422, Acts of 2013, ratified Nov. 4, 2014. Former text was repealed by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 54. No County of this State shall contract any debt, or obligation, in the construction of any Railroad, Canal, or other Work of Internal Improvement, nor give, or loan its credit to, or in aid of any association, or corporation, unless authorized by an Act of the General Assembly (amended by Chapter 71, Acts of 1960, ratified Nov. 8, 1960).

SEC. 55. The General Assembly shall pass no Law suspending the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus.

SEC. 56. The General Assembly shall have power to pass all such Laws as may be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested, by this Constitution, in any Department, or office of the Government, and the duties imposed upon them thereby.

SEC. 57. The Legal Rate of Interest shall be Six per cent per annum, unless otherwise provided by the General Assembly.

SEC. 58. The Legislature shall provide by Law for State and municipal taxation upon the revenues accruing from business done in the State by all foreign corporations (amended by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956).

SEC. 59. The Legislature shall pass no law creating the office of "State Pension Commissioner", or establishing any general pension system within this State (amended by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

SEC. 60. The General Assembly of Maryland shall have the power to provide by suitable general enactment (a) for the suspension of sentence by the Court in criminal cases; (b) for any form of the indeterminate sentence in criminal cases, and (c) for the release upon parole in whatever manner the General Assembly may prescribe, of convicts imprisoned under sentence for crimes (added by Chapter 453, Acts of 1914, ratified Nov. 2, 1915).

SEC. 61. (a) The General Assembly may authorize and empower any county or any municipal corporation, by public local law:

(b) The General Assembly may grant to any county or any municipal corporation, by public local law, any and all additional power and authority necessary or proper to carry into full force and effect any and all of the specific powers authorized by this section and to fully accomplish any and all of the purposes and objects contemplated by the provisions of this section, provided such additional power or authority is not inconsistent with the terms and provisions of this section or with any other provision or provisions of the Constitution of Maryland.

(c) The General Assembly of Maryland, by public local law, may establish or authorize the establishment of a public body or agency to undertake in a county or municipal corporation (other than Baltimore City) the activities authorized by this section, and may provide that any or all of the powers, except the power of taxation, herein authorized to be granted to such county or municipal corporation shall be vested in such public body or agency or in any existing public body or agency.

(d) The General Assembly may place such other and further restrictions or limitations on the exercise of any of the powers provided for in this section, as it may deem proper and expedient.

(e) The provisions of this section are independent of, and shall in no way affect, the powers granted under Article XIB of the Constitution of Maryland, title "City of Baltimore - Land Development and Redevelopment." Also, the power provided in this section for the General Assembly to enact public local laws authorizing any municipal corporation or any county to carry out urban renewal projects prevails over the restrictions contained in Article XIA "Local Legislation" and in Article XIE "Municipal Corporations" of this Constitution (added by Chapter 444, Acts of 1959, ratified Nov. 8, 1960).

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