High Marks for Fiscal Notes by Maryland’s Legislative Services Dept

An article in Governing magazine lauds Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services for providing thorough and timely assessments of legislation’s fiscal effects.

Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services, as described by its Executive Director Victoria Gruber, supports the members of the Maryland General Assembly and its committees in many capacities – including legal, fiscal, committee, research, reference, auditing, administrative, and technological support.

Fiscal notes from Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services provide background and information helpful to legislators before they vote on bills.

One of the roles of the Department of Legislative Services providing a fiscal and policy note on every bill introduced in the General Assembly. These notes give an assessment of the fiscal effect of the proposed legislation on the state’s budget, small business, and counties, and they also describe – in layman’s terms – what the legislation will do.

The fiscal notes from Maryland gained special recognition this month in a feature from Governing magazine. Compared to other states, the authors asserted, Maryland’s fiscal notes are both relevant and timely fashion — two critical factors when gauging the ability of input to assist legislators in a decision-making process.

At today’s Annapolis Immersion at the Maryland Association of Counties, attendees heard a presentation from Michael Sanelli of the Department of Legislative Services. Sanelli spoke about the fiscal note process, and the county role in providing information to the Department of legislative Service to contribute to their fiscal notes.

MACo responds to Legislative Services requests on bills with an effect on county governments, in addition to counties contacted directly by the Department. Together with its county membership, MACo seeks to provide information on the fiscal, or operational effect of statewide legislation. Last year, MACo responded to more than 120 fiscal note requests.

To read more about Maryland’s fiscal note process compared with other states, see Accounting for Oysters, from Governing.

Newly elected county officials will will get a deeper review of county government budgeting, their role in the legislature, and how it all fits together as part of MACo’s Winter Conference Newly Elected Officials Orientation on January 2.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: