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Maryland Manual, 1981-82
Volume 180, Page 29   View pdf image (33K)
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number of members of each House, in which case
the bill becomes law immediately upon its ap-
proval by the Governor.

The General Assembly may add a referendum
provision to any local bill but may not submit a
statewide bill to referendum (with the exception
of a proposed amendment to the Constitution or
a Soldiers' Bonus Bill). Most statewide bills, ex-
cept appropriation bills, and any local bill that
concerns a county or Baltimore City, may be sub-
mitted to a referendum by petition. No bill sub-
ject to a referendum shall be enforceable until ap-
proved by a majority of the voters at the election
in which the referred bill is voted upon, except an
emergency bill, which shall be effective immedi-
ately and shall remain effective thirty days fol-
lowing its rejection by the voters (XVI).

The House of Delegates has sole power of im-
peachment of any officer of the State. A majority
of the whole number of members of the House
must approve any bill of impeachment. The Sen-
ate tries all impeachment cases, and two-thirds of
the total number of Senators must concur in a
verdict of guilty (III, 26).

Both Houses elect the State Treasurer by joint
ballot. The General Assembly also elects the Gov-
ernor and/or the Lieutenant Governor if the pop-
ular election has resulted in a tie or the winning
candidate and/or candidates are ineligible. When a
vacancy occurs in the office of Governor, the Lieu-
tenant Governor succeeds to that office for the re-
mainder of the term. If a vacancy occurs in the of-
fice of Lieutenant Governor, the Governor
nominates a person to succeed to that office upon
confirmation by a majority vote of all members of
the General Assembly in joint session. If vacancies
occur in both the offices of Governor and Lieuten-
ant Governor at the same time, the General As-
sembly must convene and fill the office of Gover-
nor by a majority vote of all the members in joint
session. The chosen Governor then nominates a
Lieutenant Governor with the same confirmation.

The President of the Senate serves as acting
Governor if the Lieutenant Governor is not able
to serve as acting Governor. If there is a vacancy
in the office of President of the Senate when he is
authorized to serve as acting Governor, the Senate
must convene and fill the vacancy (II, 1A, 1B, 6,


The General Assembly met in regular session on
January 10, 1979, and adjourned on April 9, 1979.


A total of 2,945 bills was introduced of which
1,129 were Senate bills and 1,816 were House
bills. Of the Senate bills, 343 were passed by both
Houses, 301 were signed by the Governor, and 42
were vetoed. Of the 1,816 House bills introduced,
515 were passed by both Houses, 447 were signed
by the Governor, and 68 were vetoed.

Joint Resolutions introduced totaled 170 with
70 in the Senate and 100 in the House. Of these,
17 Senate and 25 House Joint Resolutions were
passed by both Houses. All these Joint Resolu-
tions were signed by the president of the Senate
and the speaker of the House of Delegates.

No vetoed bills were returned to the Legislature
during the 1979 session, because a new General
Assembly had been elected and sworn (Constitu-
tion, Art. II, sec. 17).

The budget bill enacted at the 1979 Session for
fiscal year 1980 (ending June 30, 1980) amounted
to $4,836,421,253. The General Construction
Loan of 1979 was passed for a total of

Among the more important measures were
those providing shelter homes for battered
Spouses, providing triennial real property assess-
ments, extending the circuit breaker program,
clarifying the constant yield tax rate, providing for
disposition of family use personal property in di-
vorce and annulment cases, extending for four
years the effective date for termination of State
funding for drivers' education, requiring the devel-
opment of a three-year demonstration program for
employing persons who have reached seventy
years of age, prohibiting expenditures for certain
political campaign acts performed on election day,
enacting a comprehensive statute concerning pub-
lic ethics, exempting certain farm machinery and
manufacturing machinery from sales and use tax-
es, increasing the amount of the standard deduc-
tion allowed under the State income tax law, cre-
ating a program of property tax relief to elderly
and disabled persons renting a principal place of
residence, removing the interest rate ceiling on
loans secured by residential real property, provid-
ing that only minors are required to wear protec-
tive headgear while riding a motorcycle, requiring
the MVA to establish a program for emissions in-
spections, establishing a new pension system for
State employees and teachers, denying a person
who voluntarily stops working unemployment in-
surance benefits for a certain period and clarifying
"good cause", and establishing 911 as the primary
emergency telephone number in the State and
establishing the Emergency Number Systems


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Maryland Manual, 1981-82
Volume 180, Page 29   View pdf image (33K)
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