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Maryland Manual, 1973-74
Volume 176, Page 340   View pdf image (33K)
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General Assembly (III, 9, 10, II). The term of each Senator and Dele-
gate shall be for four years from the date of his election (XVII). The
Governor is required to appoint to any vacancy that occurs in either
House through death, resignation, or disqualification, a person whose
name is submitted to him in writing by the State Central Committee
of the County or Legislative District which the person holding the
vacated seat represented and of the party to which he belonged. The
person so appointed must be affiliated with that party. All persons so
appointed serve for the unexpired portion of the term (III, 13)'. Each
House elects its own officers, is judge of its own members, and estab-
lishes rules for the conduct of its business.
The General Assembly meets annually. Sessions begin the second
Wednesday in January and are for a period not longer than ninety
days. The General Assembly may extend its sessions beyond ninety
days, but not exceed an additional thirty days by resolution concurred
in by three-fifths vote of the membership in each House. The Governor
may call special sessions at any time he deems it necessary (III, 14),
but no single special session may last longer than thirty days.
The General Assembly must pass at each regular session a budget
bill which contains the budget for the State government for the next
fiscal year. Upon the passage of the bill by both Houses, it becomes
law without further action (III, 52).
Under the provisions of a Constitutional Amendment ratified by the
voters in 1972 (Chapter 369, Acts of 1972), the Senate and the House
of Delegates may adopt a "consent calendar" procedure permitting
bills to be read and voted upon as a single group on both second and
third readings, affording members of each House reasonable notice of
the bills so placed on each consent calendar (III, 27, 28).
The General Assembly has power to pass such laws as are necessary
for the welfare of the State, and, in addition, it has the power to pass
public local laws for counties not having home rule powers and for
special taxing areas. The Home Rule Amendment of 1954 (XI-E) al-
most. entirely prohibits the General Assembly from passing local legis-
lation for incorporated cities and towns, although the Assembly retains
its power to pass a general state-wide law that affects them. The Gen-
eral Assembly may establish such departments of the State govern-
ment as are necessary for its efficient operation and may establish
special taxing districts or areas within the State for the purpose of
administering a special function or functions. The General Assembly
may establish such taxes as are in accordance with the Constitution of
the State and of the United States. It may propose amendments to the
State Constitution, which must be embodied in a regular legislative bill
and passed by three-fifths of the total membership of each House. All
amendments to the Constitution must be submitted to the voters at the
next general election after passage.
All bills passed by the General Assembly become law when signed by
the Governor, or passed over his veto by three-fifths of the member-
ship of each House, on the first day of June after the session in which
the law was passed; except (1) when a later date is specified in the
Act or (2) when the bill is declared an emergency measure and passed
by three-fifths of the total number of members of each House, in
which case the bill becomes law immediately upon its approval by the
The General Assembly may add a referendum provision to any local
bill but may not submit a state-wide bill to referendum (with the ex-
ception of a Soldiers' Bonus Bill). Any state-wide bill, except an ap-
propriation bill, and any local bill which concerns a county or Balti-
more City may be submitted to a referendum by petition. No bill

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Maryland Manual, 1973-74
Volume 176, Page 340   View pdf image (33K)
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