A bill prompted by the sale of excess Government House furniture at bargain prices to departing Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley passed the House of Delegates unanimously Friday.
The legislation, introduced by Carroll County Republican Del. Haven Shoemaker, bars the Department of General Services from selling furniture to an outgoing governor unless it has been certified as surplus by the independent Government House Trust.
It would also require governors who want to buy such furniture to do so through an open auction.
Shoemaker introduced the bill after reports that O'Malley paid $9,638 to acquire 54 mansion furnishings that cost taxpayers $62,000 after officials of his administration declared them to be "junk."
The measure now goes to the Senate. A similar controversy broke out in 2007 when Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. left the governor's mansion with 21 furnishings he bought for $992, about 10 pecent of their original cost.