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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 532   View pdf image (33K)
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tee of the Whole: I would ask you at this
time to vote against the amendment to the
amendment. For clarification's sake, I shall
not refer to them by those terms, but I
ask you to vote against the amendment
which calls for 108 members of the House
of Delegates, and at the appropriate time,
to vote for the amendment which calls for
120 members of the House of Delegates.
First, let me say, for this assemblage,
that I have only the highest praise for the
Committee of the Legislative Branch. They
not only have performed magnificently, but
in their explanations to this body, even
where the Chairman may have disagreed
with his committee, his explanations were
lucid, they were clear, and they were abso-
lutely honest and fair.
I have the feeling that we have reached
a stage in these deliberations where we
have to get off the dime. We are in a situa-
tion now where we have given considera-
tion not alone to what the committee has
done; we have given consideration to the
General Assembly, and I beg of you now
to give consideration to the people of Mary-
land and to the people of each and every
political subdivision who are used to the
traditional method of representation in the
General Assembly, which has been changed
by the law of the land.
When the Supreme Court spoke, that be-
came the law. We have to face up to it.
And though it has been a traumatic ex-
perience for some of the smaller areas,
they, too, have to live with the law of the
land. However, we who are here assembled
have an obligation to the entire State, and
we can best serve that obligation by fair-
ness to all who are concerned, providing
not an unwieldy General Assembly too
large for efficient operation, nor too small
to permit representation on a fair and ade-
quate basis, but somewhere in between.
To arrive at what is in between and
fair cannot be accomplished by using a
computer and coming up with the right an-
swer because it is a matter of judgment.
We have to exercise our judgment, weigh
all the decisions that are inherent in this
kind of a development in modern political
life, and in so doing, attempt to give the
maximum representation, even to the
sparsely settled counties because they are
still a part of the State of Maryland.
At the same time I believe that we have
to assure the efficient operation of the
General Assembly. Now when the commit-
tee came up with its recommendation of
35-105, I do not know that there could have
been too great a quarrel with it at first
examination. However, as the debates con-
tinued, we began to think that perhaps
this convention should give greater weight
to the problem of under-representation in
the smaller areas.
We have at the present time 142 mem-
bers of the House of Delegates. Maybe it is
not as efficient as we would like. On the
other hand, maybe it is even more efficient
than we think.
Again, this is a matter of judgment, but
to cut back at one fell swoop from 142 to
105, or 108, would be too great.
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Sherbow,
you have a little less than one minute.
DELEGATE SHERBOW: It is the kind
of reduction that leaves in this state the
kind of source that ought not exist.
In fairness to the General Assembly and
its operation, in fairness to the people of
the entire state, in fairness to the people
who will not have specific representatives,
I urge you to vote against this amendment
to the amendment presented by Delegate
Bamberger, and then at the appropriate
time, to vote for the amendment which we
have offered.
Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN: Does any other dele-
gate desire to speak in favor? Delegate
man, ladies and gentlemen of the commit-
tee. with the statutory deadline which we
have facing us we hardly have the luxury
of being able to say that we are going to
fight it out on this. line if it takes all sum-
mer. I would not want to suggest that at
all. I do suggest to you, however, that
what we have before us this morning is
rather important in terms of what is going
to happen for the rest of this convention.
I say to you that if each and every rec-
ommendation of each of the committees is
going to come in here with no presump-
tion whatsoever in its favor, that we have
some difficult days ahead, and we may not
complete this project upon which we have
labored so long and so industriously. I
thought in fighting it out yesterday that
this first committee report was going to
set a precedent. I felt it would work. I
know the other chairmen feel the same way
and that is why I was delighted yesterday
when Delegate Sherbow was kind enough
to indicate his agreement with 35-105. But

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 532   View pdf image (33K)
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