Bill Seeks Greater Flexibility in Filling Vacated County Executive Seat

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Legislation that would give the authority to a charter county to fill a vacancy in the office of county executive through a special election if a vacancy occurs during the term of office has passed the House and is awaiting action by the Senate.

Under the Maryland Constitution, a charter county has the authority to fill a council seat vacated during the middle of a term through a special election.  HB 1415 proposes a constitutional amendment to extend this same process to the office of county executive should the governing body choose to fill the vacancy in this manner.

From MACo’s supporting testimony:

Before this could occur, the constitutional amendment proposed by this bill would first need to be approved through referendum. If approved, a charter county would then need to propose a change to its charter through referendum to authorize a special election for this purpose. This would give the voting public sufficient opportunity to review and approve any such change.

HB 1415 would give charter counties greater flexibility for filling a county executive vacancy in the middle of a term. A Senate companion bill, SB 1017, has not yet been voted out of committee.