Article XI-A, Maryland Constitution

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Declaration of RightsIIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXI-AXI-BXI-CXI-DXI-EXI-FXI-GXI-HXI-IXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIX

Article XI-A of the Maryland Constitution is entitled Local Legislation and consists of nine sections.

Note: This article was added by Chapter 416, Acts of 1914, on November 2, 1915.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

On demand of the Mayor of Baltimore and City Council of the City of Baltimore, or on petition bearing the signatures of not less than 20% of the registered voters of said City or any County (Provided, however, that in any case 10,000 signatures shall be sufficient to complete a petition), the Board of Election Supervisors of said City or County shall provide at the next general or congressional election, occurring after such demand or the filing of such petition, for the election of a charter board of eleven registered voters of said City or five registered voters in any such Counties. Nominations for members for said charter board may be made not less than forty days prior to said election by the Mayor of Baltimore and City Council of the City of Baltimore or the County Commissioners of such County, or not less than twenty days prior to said election by petition bearing the signatures written in their own handwriting (and not by their mark) of not less than 5% of the registered voters of the said City of Baltimore or said County; provided, that in any case Two thousand signatures of registered voters shall be sufficient to complete any such nominating petition, and if not more than eleven registered voters of the City of Baltimore or not more than five registered voters in any such County are so nominated their names shall not be printed on the ballot, but said eleven registered voters in the City of Baltimore or five in such County shall constitute said charter board from and after the date of said election. At said election the ballot shall contain the names of said nominees in alphabetical order without any indication of the source of their nomination, and shall also be so arranged as to permit the voter to vote for or against the creation of said charter board, but the vote cast against said creation shall not be held to bar the voter from expressing his choice among the nominees for said board, and if the majority of the votes cast for and against the creation of said charter board shall be against said creation the election of the members of said charter board shall be void; but if such majority shall be in favor of the creation of said charter board, then and in that event the eleven nominees of the City of Baltimore or five nominees in the County receiving the largest number of votes shall constitute the charter board, and said charter board, or a majority thereof, shall prepare within 18 months from the date of said election a charter or form of government for said city or such county and present the same to the Mayor of Baltimore or President of the Board of County Commissioners of such county, who shall publish the same in at least two newspapers of general circulation published in the City of Baltimore or County within thirty days after it shall be reported to him. Such charter shall be submitted to the voters of said City or County at the next general or Congressional election after the report of said charter to said Mayor of Baltimore or President of the Board of County Commissioners; and if a majority of the votes cast for and against the adoption of said charter shall be in favor of such adoption, the said charter from and after the thirtieth day from the date of such election shall become the law of said City or County, subject only to the Constitution and Public General Laws of this State, and any public local laws inconsistent with the provisions of said charter and any former charter of the City of Baltimore or County shall be thereby repealed.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended with the approval of Chapter 192, Acts of 1963, on November 3, 1964.
  • Amended with the approval of Chapter 207, Acts of 1992, on November 3, 1992.

Section 1A

Text of Section 1A:

The procedure provided in this section for adoption of a charter may be used in any county in lieu of the procedures provided in Section 1 of this Article, and a charter adopted pursuant to this section has the effect of a charter adopted in accordance with the provisions of Section 1. The board of county commissioners of any county at any time may appoint a charter board. Said charter board shall be registered voters and shall consist of an uneven number of members, not fewer than five or more than nine. The board of county commissioners shall appoint a charter board within thirty days after receiving a petition signed by five percent of the registered voters of the county or by ten thousand voters of the county, whichever is the lesser number. If additional charter board members are nominated by petitions signed by three percent of the registered voters of the county or by two thousand registered voters, whichever is the lesser number, delivered to the board of county commissioners within sixty days after the charter board is appointed, the board of county commissioners shall call a special election not less than thirty or more than ninety days after receiving petitions, unless a regular election falls within the designated period. The appointees of the board of county commissioners and those nominated by petitions shall be placed on the ballot in alphabetical order without party designation. The voters may cast votes for, and elect a number of nominees equal to the number of charter board members originally selected by the board of county commissioners, and those so elected are the charter board. The charter board, within 18 months from the date of its appointment, or if there was an election for some of its members, within 18 months from the date of the election, shall present a proposed charter for the county to the board of county commissioners, which shall publish it at least twice in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the county within thirty days after it is presented. The charter shall be submitted to the voters of the county at a special or regular election held not earlier than thirty days or later than ninety days after publication of the charter. If a majority of the votes cast for and against the adoption of the charter are in favor of its adoption, the charter shall become effective as the charter of the county on the thirtieth day after the election or such later date as shall be specified in the charter.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended with the approval of Chapter 786, Acts of 1969, on November 3, 1970.
  • Amended with the approval of Chapter 207, Acts of 1992, on November 3, 1992.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

The General Assembly shall by public general law provide a grant of express powers for such County or Counties as may thereafter form a charter under the provisions of this Article. Such express powers granted to the Counties and the powers heretofore granted to the City of Baltimore, as set forth in Article 4, Section 6, Public Local Laws of Maryland, shall not be enlarged or extended by any charter formed under the provisions of this Article, but such powers may be extended, modified, amended or repealed by the General Assembly.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended with the approval of Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, on November 7, 1978.

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Every charter so formed shall provide for an elective legislative body in which shall be vested the law-making power of said City or County. Such legislative body in the City of Baltimore shall be known as the City Council of the City of Baltimore, and in any county shall be known as the County Council of the County. The chief executive officer, if any such charter shall provide for the election of such executive officer, or the presiding officer of said legislative body, if such charter shall not provide for the election of a chief executive officer, shall be known in the City of Baltimore as Mayor of Baltimore, and in any County as the President or Chairman of the County Council of the County, and all references in the Constitution and laws of this State to the Mayor of Baltimore and City Council of the City of Baltimore or to the County Commissioners of the Counties, shall be construed to refer to the Mayor of Baltimore and City Council of the City of Baltimore and to the President or Chairman and County Council herein provided for whenever such construction would be reasonable. From and after the adoption of a charter by the City of Baltimore, or any County of this State, as hereinbefore provided, the Mayor of Baltimore and City Council of the City of Baltimore or the County Council of said County, subject to the Constitution and Public General Laws of this State, shall have full power to enact local laws of said City or County including the power to repeal or amend local laws of said City or County enacted by the General Assembly, upon all matters covered by the express powers granted as above provided, and, as expressly authorized by statute, to provide for the filling of a vacancy in the County Council by special election; provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize or empower the County Council of any County in this State to enact laws or regulations for any incorporated town, village, or municipality in said County, on any matter covered by the powers granted to said town, village, or municipality by the Act incorporating it, or any subsequent Act or Acts amendatory thereto. Provided, however, that the charters for the various Counties shall specify the number of days, not to exceed forty-five, which may but need not be consecutive, that the County Council of the Counties may sit in each year for the purpose of enacting legislation for such Counties, and all legislation shall be enacted at the times so designated for that purpose in the charter, and the title or a summary of all laws and ordinances proposed shall be published once a week for two successive weeks prior to enactment followed by publication once after enactment in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county, so that the taxpayers and citizens may have notice thereof. The validity of emergency legislation shall not be affected if enacted prior to the completion of advertising thereof. These provisions concerning publication shall not apply to Baltimore City. All such local laws enacted by the Mayor of Baltimore and City Council of the City of Baltimore or the Council of the Counties as hereinbefore provided, shall be subject to the same rules of interpretation as those now applicable to the Public Local Laws of this State, except that in case of any conflict between said local law and any Public General Law now or hereafter enacted the Public General Law shall control.[1]

Amendments

Section 3A

Text of Section 3A:

The charter for the government of any county governed by the provisions of this Article may provide for the election of members of the county council by the voters of councilmanic districts therein established, or by the voters of the entire county, or by a combination of these methods of election.

(amended by Chapter 358, Acts of 1971, ratified Nov. 7, 1972; Chapter 785, Acts of 1975, ratified Nov. 2, 1976; Chapter 682, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978; Chapter 136, Acts of 1980, ratified Nov. 4, 1980; Chapter 729, Acts of 1982, ratified Nov. 2, 1982; Chapters 694, 707, Acts of 1986, ratified Nov. 4, 1986).

(b) Repealed with the approval of Chapter 707, Acts of 1986, on November 4, 1986.

(c) Repealed with the approval of Chapter 707, Acts of 1986, on November 4, 1986.

(d) Repealed with the approval of Chapter 82, Acts of 1996, on November 5, 1996.[1]

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

From and after the adoption of a charter under the provisions of this Article by the City of Baltimore or any County of this State, no public local law shall be enacted by the General Assembly for said City or County on any subject covered by the express powers granted as above provided. Any law so drawn as to apply to two or more of the geographical sub-divisions of this State shall not be deemed a Local Law, within the meaning of this Act. The term "geographical sub-division" herein used shall be taken to mean the City of Baltimore or any of the Counties of this State.[1]

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Amendments to any charter adopted by the City of Baltimore or by any County of this State under the provisions of this Article may be proposed by a resolution of the Mayor of Baltimore and the City Council of the City of Baltimore, or the Council of the County, or by a petition signed by not less than 20% of the registered voters of the City or County, provided, however, that in any case 10,000 signatures shall be sufficient to complete a petition. A petition shall be filed with the Mayor of Baltimore or the President of the County Council. An amendment so proposed shall be submitted to the voters of the City or County at the next general or congressional election occurring after the passage of the resolution or the filing of the petition. If at the election the majority of the votes cast for and against the amendment shall be in favor thereof, the amendment shall be adopted and become a part of the charter of the City or County from and after the thirtieth day after said election. The amendments shall be published by the Mayor of Baltimore or President of the County Council once a week for five successive weeks prior to the election in at least one newspaper published in said City or County.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended with the approval of Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, on November 7, 1978.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

The power heretofore conferred upon the General Assembly to prescribe the number, compensation, powers and duties of the County Commissioners in each County, and the power to make changes in Sections 1 to 6 inclusive, Article XI of this Constitution, when expressly granted as hereinbefore provided, are hereby transferred to the voters of each County and the voters of City of Baltimore, respectively, provided that said powers so transferred shall be exercised only by the adoption or amendment of a charter as hereinbefore provided; and provided further that this Article shall not be construed to authorize the exercise of any powers in excess of those conferred by the Legislature upon said Counties or City as this Article sets forth.[1]

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

The word "Petition" as used in this Article means one or more sheets written or printed, or partly written and partly printed. There shall be attached to each paper of signatures filed with a petition an affidavit of the person procuring those signatures that the signatures were affixed in his presence and that, based upon the person's best knowledge and belief, every signature on the paper is genuine and bona fide and that the signers are registered voters at the address set opposite or below their names. The General Assembly shall prescribe by law the form of the petition, the manner for verifying its authenticity, and other administrative procedures which facilitate the petition process and which are not in conflict with this Article. The false signing of any name, or the signing of any fictitious name to said petition shall be forgery, and the making of any false affidavit in connection with said petition shall be perjury.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended with the approval of Chapter 849, Acts of 1982, on November 2, 1982.

See also

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