OCTOBER 4, 2020 

It has often been said that how and where one spends one’s money (or time, or energy) is an expression of one’s values. Regarding Maryland Question 1, Legislative Authority over State Budget Amendment of 2020, and if the ballot measure does happen to pass, how would the new Governor, elected in 2024, utilize the line item veto in light of the “defund the police” protests that the United States and the rest of the globe have been experiencing since the killings of George Perry Floyd, Jr. and Breonna Taylor?  Will there be a massive reallocation of resources within the Maryland Department of State Police, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Maryland Police And Correctional Training Commissions, the Maryland Transit Administration Police, the Maryland Natural Resources Police, and county, municipal and other law enforcement agencies within the Old Line State that receive state funding, commensurate with a massive change in the values of the new Governor and the Maryland General Assembly?

According to Roy Meyers, professor of Political Science and Affiliate Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, “Right now the only way to get proposed spending in the governor's budget is for the governor to do it...And so everybody has to lobby the governor. That's just one person.“ How would members of the Maryland State Assembly deal with the increased attention given them as members of the public interact with the legislators more frequently and more ardently, as legislators are vigorously lobbied for their influence over budget support of various line-item initiatives, where once the Governor was being lobbied for these initiatives? Will Maryland maintain its AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, Moody's Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings, or will partisan gridlock slow or prevent the passage of a state budget, and cause the rating to be downgraded?

Finally, it should be noted that the amendment to Article II Section 17, and Article III Sections 4 and 5 in Maryland Question 1 does more than merely serve to correct the nearly century-old budget control solution found in Maryland Appropriations Budget, Amendment 2 of 1916. The amendment also corrects the atavism of normalizing the use of “he” in reference to the Governor of Maryland in the Constitution of the State of Maryland, a gender-based microaggression most poignant and relevant, as we mourn the loss of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.