Maryland's Budget Process: An Overview

Maryland Operating Budget Overview

​Where do Budget Powers Come From?

The Governor and General Assembly get their budget powers from Article III, Section 52 of Maryland’s Constitution. This Section also outlines the basics of the budget process. http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/43const/html/03art3.html

The Maryland constitution gives the Governor a great deal of executive power in the budget process, more than in most states or in the federal government.

Executive Budget Powers

The Governor:

  • Sets the revenue estimates that establish the basis for State spending; and
  • Is required to submit a balanced budget proposal to the General Assembly on or by the 3rd Wednesday in January, or in the first year of a new term, by the 10th day of the Legislative Session.

The Governor’s budget proposal includes ALL planned expenditures for the fiscal year and is presented as both a budget bill (insert link) and in detailed budget book volumes.

Legislative Budget Powers

  • The General Assembly can only cut the Operating Budget.
  • They cannot add to the budget.
  • They cannot rearrange items to spend less in one area and more in another.

Maryland Operating Budget Basics

The State operating budget must be balanced – when the Governor submits it and when the General Assembly approves it.

The Governor has NO VETO POWER once the legislature has passed the operating budget bill.

The operating budget bill becomes law immediately upon final passage, with no further action by the Governor.

Supplemental Budgets

Before final action on the budget bill, the Governor may, with the consent of the General Assembly, amend or supplement the budget:

  • To correct and oversight;
  • To fund pending legislation; or
  • In case of emergency.