In an opinion piece for MyEasternShoreMD, the author encourages voters to support both constitutional amendments on the ballot this November. Question 1 will create a “lockbox” for State transportation funds and question 2 authorizes charter counties to fill a vacancy in the office of county executive through a special election.
From the opinion piece,
The proposed constitutional amendment would limit “the use of Transportation Trust Funds to payment of principal and interest on transportation bonds and for constructing and maintaining an adequate highway system or any other transportation-related purpose.”
It also would prohibit “the transfer of Transportation Trust Funds into the General Fund or a special fund of the State, except for: (1) an allocation or use of highway user revenues for local governments or (2) a transfer of funds to the Maryland Transportation Authority or the Maryland Transportation Authority Fund.”
To transfer funds into the General Fund or special fund, the governor must declare a fiscal emergency and state lawmakers must approve the use or transfer by a three-fifths vote of both chambers. These protections do not apply to local highway user revenues, but the measure would add additional protections for state projects being constructed in local jurisdictions.
Question 2 would amend the state constitution to allow, but not require, charter counties to fill vacancies in the office of county executive or chief executive officer (Baltimore City mayor) by holding a special election.
If approved, the constitutional amendment will allow, but does not require, charter counties to hold special elections to fill a vacancy in the office of county executive. The same authority has already been granted to charter counties to hold special elections for a vacancy on the county council.