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Legislature should have power to reallocate funds | READER COMMENTARY

The Maryland House of Delegates takes a short break during an abbreviated session last March. In a vote split along partisan lines, lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment to give the legislature authority to reallocate funds in the state budget, a power available to their counterparts in every other state. Voters will now face the decision over whether to approve "Question 1" on the November ballot.
The Maryland House of Delegates takes a short break during an abbreviated session last March. In a vote split along partisan lines, lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment to give the legislature authority to reallocate funds in the state budget, a power available to their counterparts in every other state. Voters will now face the decision over whether to approve "Question 1" on the November ballot. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

With voting by mail getting underway in Maryland, it’s important to consider the entire ballot. One item is Question 1, which would amend the state constitution to allow the General Assembly to reallocate funds within the state budget (“Reform Md.'s budget process with a single constitutional trade,” July 12). Every state in the U.S. except Maryland affords its legislature this flexibility.

Under the amendment, the General Assembly would still be precluded from increasing the total amount of funds the governor’s budget requests. Community mental health and addiction programs, a lifeline for a quarter million Marylanders, will benefit greatly from Question 1. Take it from someone who spent 38 years in public mental health, wishing the legislature had the simple reallocation ability Question 1 would allow. Please vote “for” the constitutional amendment.

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Herb Cromwell, Catonsville

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