Article II, Maryland Constitution
- 1 Section 1
- 2 Section 1A
- 3 Section 1B
- 4 Section 2
- 5 Section 3
- 6 Section 4
- 7 Section 5
- 8 Section 6
- 9 Section 7
- 10 Section 7A
- 11 Section 8
- 12 Section 9
- 13 Section 10
- 14 Section 10A
- 15 Section 11
- 16 Section 12
- 17 Section 13
- 18 Section 14
- 19 Section 15
- 20 Section 16
- 21 Section 17
- 22 Section 18
- 23 Section 19
- 24 Section 20
- 25 Section 21
- 26 Section 21A
- 27 Section 22
- 28 Section 23
- 29 Section 24
- 30 External links
- 31 Navigation
| Text of Section 1:
The executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor, whose term of office shall commence on the third Wednesday of January next ensuing his election, and continue for four years, and until his successor shall have qualified; and a person who has served two consecutive popular elective terms of office as Governor shall be ineligible to succeed himself as Governor for the term immediately following the second of said two consecutive popular elective terms/
(amended by Chapter 109, Acts of 1947, ratified Nov. 2, 1948; Chapter 161, Acts of 1964, ratified Nov. 3, 1964; Chapter 576, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).
| Text of Section 1A:
There shall be a Lieutenant Governor, who shall have only the duties delegated to him by the Governor and shall have such compensation as the General Assembly shall provide by law, except that beginning in the year 1978 the salary of the Lieutenant Governor shall be as provided under Section 21A of this Article. No person who is ineligible under this Constitution to be elected Governor shall be eligible to hold the office of Lieutenant Governor.
(amended by Chapter 532, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970; Chapter 543, Acts of 1976, ratified Nov. 2, 1976).
| Text of Section 1B:
Each candidate who shall seek a nomination for Governor, under any method provided by law for such nomination, including primary elections, shall at the time of filing for said office designate a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and the names of the said candidate for Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be listed on the primary election ballot, or otherwise considered for nomination jointly with each other. No candidate for Governor may designate a candidate for Lieutenant Governor to contest for the said offices jointly with him without the consent of the said candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and no candidate for Lieutenant Governor may designate a candidate for Governor, to contest jointly for said offices with him without the consent of the said candidate for Governor, said consent to be in writing on a form provided for such purpose and filed at the time the said candidates shall file their certificates of candidacy, or other documents by which they seek nomination. In any election, including a primary election, candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be listed jointly on the ballot, and a vote cast for the candidate for Governor shall also be cast for Lieutenant Governor jointly listed on the ballot with him, and the election of Governor, or the nomination of a candidate for Governor, also shall constitute the election for the same term, or the nomination, of the Lieutenant Governor who was listed on the ballot or was being considered jointly with him.
(added by Chapter 532, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).
| Text of Section 2:
An election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, under this Constitution, shall be held on the Tuesday next after the first Monday of November, in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-four, and on the same day and month in every fourth year thereafter, at the places of voting for Delegates to the General Assembly; and every person qualified to vote for Delegate, shall be qualified and entitled to vote for Governor and Lieutenant Governor; the election to be held in the same manner as the election of Delegates, and the returns thereof, under seal, to be addressed to the Speaker of the House of Delegates, and enclosed and transmitted to the Secretary of State, and delivered to said Speaker, at the commencement of the session of the General Assembly, next ensuing said election.
(amended by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 532, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).
| Text of Section 3:
The Speaker of the House of Delegates shall then open the said Returns, in the presence of both Houses; and the persons having the highest number of votes for these offices, and being Constitutionally eligible, shall be the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and shall qualify, in the manner herein prescribed, on the third Wednesday of January next ensuing his election, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable.
(amended by Chapter 161, Acts of 1964, ratified Nov. 3, 1964; Chapters 532 and 576, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).
| Text of Section 4:
If two or more sets of persons shall have the highest and an equal number of votes for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, one set of them shall be chosen Governor and Lieutenant Governor, by the Senate and House of Delegates; and all questions in relation to the eligibility of Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and to the Returns of said election, and to the number and legality of votes therein given, shall be determined by the House of Delegates; and if the person having the highest number of votes for Governor or for Lieutenant Governor or both of them, be ineligible, a person or persons shall be chosen by the Senate and House of Delegates in place of the ineligible person or persons. Every election of Governor or of Lieutenant Governor, or both, by the General Assembly shall be determined by a joint majority of the Senate and House of Delegates; and the vote shall be taken viva voce. But if two or more sets of persons shall have the highest and an equal number of votes, then, a second vote shall be taken, which shall be confined to the sets of persons having an equal number; and if the vote should again be equal, then the election of Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be determined by lot between those sets, who shall have the highest and an equal number on the first vote.
(amended by Chapter 532, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).
| Text of Section 5:
A person to be eligible for the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor must have attained the age of thirty years, and must have been a resident and registered voter of the State for five years next immediately preceding his election.
(amended by Chapter 532, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).
| Text of Section 6:
(a) If the Governor-elect is disqualified, resigns, or dies, the Lieutenant Governor-elect shall become Governor for the full term. If the Governor-elect fails to assume office for any other reason, the newly elected Lieutenant Governor shall become Lieutenant Governor and shall serve as acting Governor until the Governor-elect assumes office or until the office becomes vacant.
(b) The Lieutenant Governor shall serve as acting Governor when notified in writing by the Governor that the Governor will be temporarily unable to perform the duties of his office. The Lieutenant Governor also shall serve as acting Governor when the Governor is disabled but is unable to communicate to the Lieutenant Governor the fact of his inability to perform the duties of his office. In either event the Lieutenant Governor shall serve as acting Governor until notified in writing by the Governor that he is able to resume the duties of his office or until the office becomes vacant.
(c) The General Assembly, by the affirmative vote of three-fifths of all its members in joint session, may adopt a resolution declaring that the Governor or Lieutenant Governor is unable by reason of physical or mental disability to perform the duties of his office. When action is undertaken pursuant to this subsection of the Constitution, the officer who concludes that the other officer is unable, by reason of disability to perform the duties of his office shall have the power to call the General Assembly into Joint Session. The resolution, if adopted, shall be delivered to the Court of Appeals, which then shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether that officer is unable by reason of the disability to perform the duties of his office. If the Court of Appeals determines that such officer is unable to discharge the duties of his office by reason of a permanent disability, the office shall be vacant. If the Court of Appeals determines that such officer is unable to discharge the duties of his office by reason of a temporary disability, it shall declare the office to be vacant during the time of the disability and the Court shall have continuing jurisdiction to determine when the disability has terminated. If the General Assembly and the Court of Appeals, acting in the same manner as described above, determine that the Governor-elect or Lieutenant Governor-elect is unable by reason of physical or mental disability to perform the duties of the office to which he has been elected, he shall be disqualified to assume office.
(d) When a vacancy occurs in the office of Governor, the Lieutenant Governor shall succeed to that office for the remainder of the term. When a vacancy occurs in the office of Lieutenant Governor, the Governor shall nominate a person who shall succeed to that office upon confirmation by the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the General Assembly in joint session.
(e) If vacancies in the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor exist at the same time, the General Assembly shall convene forthwith, and the office of Governor shall be filled for the remainder of the term by the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the General Assembly in joint session. The person so chosen as Governor by the General Assembly shall then nominate a person to succeed to the office of Lieutenant Governor, upon confirmation by the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the General Assembly in the same joint session. The President of the Senate shall serve as acting Governor until the newly elected Governor has qualified. If a vacancy exists in the office of Lieutenant Governor, at a time when the Lieutenant Governor is authorized to serve as acting Governor, the President of the Senate shall serve as acting Governor. If there is a vacancy in the office of the President of the Senate at a time when he is authorized to serve as acting Governor, the Senate shall forthwith convene and fill the vacancy.
(f) When the Lieutenant Governor or a person elected by the General Assembly succeeds to the office of Governor, he shall have the title, powers, duties, and emoluments of that office; but when the Lieutenant Governor or the President of the Senate serves as acting Governor, he shall have only the powers and duties of that office. When the President of the Senate serves as acting Governor, he shall continue to be President of the Senate, but his duties as president shall be performed by such other person as the Senate shall select.
(g) The Court of Appeals shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes or questions arising from the failure of the Governor-elect to take office, or the service of the Lieutenant Governor or President of the Senate as acting Governor, or the creation of a vacancy in the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor by reason of disability, or the succession to the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor, or the exercise of the powers and duties of a successor to the office of Governor.
(amended by Chapter 743, Acts of 1959, ratified Nov. 8, 1960; Chapter 532, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).
| Text of Section 7:
The Legislature may provide by law, not inconsistent with Section 26 of Article III of this Constitution, for the impeachment of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
(amended by Chapter 743, Acts of 1959, ratified Nov. 8, 1960; Chapter 532, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).
| Text of Section 7A:
(added by Chapter 532, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970. Repealed by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).
| Text of Section 8:
The Governor shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the land and naval forces of the State; and may call out the Militia to repel invasions, suppress insurrections, and enforce the execution of the Laws; but shall not take the command in person, without the consent of the Legislature.
| Text of Section 9:
He shall take care that the Laws are faithfully executed.
| Text of Section 10:
He shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint all civil and military officers of the State, whose appointment, or election, is not otherwise herein provided for, unless a different mode of appointment be prescribed by the Law creating the office.
| Text of Section 10A:
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a Governor may not appoint a person to an office in the Executive Branch of State Government during:
(b) In an emergency during the periods described in subsection (a) of this section, a Governor may appoint a person to an office in the Executive Branch that the Governor has the power to fill on a temporary basis upon filing a statement of emergency with the Secretary of State. Appointments made under this subsection are subject to the approval of the next succeeding Governor, who may remove the temporary officeholder and appoint a replacement.
(added by Chapter 114, Acts of 1995, ratified Nov. 5, 1996).
| Text of Section 11:
In case of any vacancy, during the recess of the Senate, in any office which the Governor has power to fill, he shall appoint some suitable person to said office, whose commission shall continue in force until the end of the next session of the Legislature, or until some other person is appointed to the same office, whichever shall first occur; and the nomination of the person thus appointed, during the recess, or, of some other person in his place, shall be made to the Senate on the first day of the next regular meeting of the Senate.
(amended by Chapter 626, Acts of 1955, ratified Nov. 6, 1956).
| Text of Section 12:
No person, after being rejected by the Senate, shall be again nominated for the same office at the same session, unless at the request of the Senate; or, be appointed to the same office during the recess of the Legislature.
| Text of Section 13:
All civil officers nominated by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the Senate, shall be nominated to the Senate within forty days from the commencement of each regular session of the Legislature; and their term of office, except in cases otherwise provided for in this Constitution, shall commence on the first Monday of May next ensuing their appointment, and continue for two years (unless removed from office), and until their successors, respectively, qualify according to law.
(amended by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 161, Acts of 1964, ratified Nov. 3, 1964; Chapter 576, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).
| Text of Section 14:
If a vacancy shall occur, during the session of the Senate, in any office which the Governor and the Senate have the power to fill, the Governor shall nominate to the Senate before its final adjournment, a proper person to fill said vacancy, unless such vacancy occurs within ten days before said final adjournment.
| Text of Section 15:
The Governor may suspend or arrest any military officer of the State for disobedience of orders, or other military offense; and may remove him in pursuance of the sentence of a Court-Martial; and may remove for incompetency, or misconduct, all civil officers who received appointment from the Executive for a term of years.
| Text of Section 16:
The Governor shall convene the Legislature, or the Senate alone, on extraordinary occasions; and whenever from the presence of an enemy, or from any other cause, the Seat of Government shall become an unsafe place for the meeting of the Legislature, he may direct their sessions to be held at some other convenient place.
| Text of Section 17:
(a) To guard against hasty or partial legislation and encroachment of the Legislative Department upon the co-ordinate Executive and Judicial Departments, every Bill passed by the House of Delegates and the Senate, before it becomes a law, shall be presented to the Governor of the State. If the Governor approves he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it with his objections to the House in which it originated, which House shall enter the objections at large on its Journal and proceed to reconsider the Bill. Each House may adopt by rule a veto calendar procedure that permits Bills that are to be reconsidered to be read and voted upon as a single group. The members of each House shall be afforded reasonable notice of the Bills to be placed on each veto calendar. Upon the objection of a member, any Bill shall be removed from the veto calendar. If, after such reconsideration, three-fifths of the members elected to that House pass the Bill, it shall be sent with the objections to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if it passes by three-fifths of the members elected to that House it shall become a law. The votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively.
(b) If any Bill presented to the Governor while the General Assembly is in session is not returned by him with his objections within six days (Sundays excepted), the Bill shall be a law in like manner as if he signed it, unless the General Assembly, by adjournment, prevents its return, in which case it shall not be a law.
(c) Any Bill presented to the Governor within six days (Sundays excepted), prior to adjournment of any session of the General Assembly, or after such adjournment, shall become law without the Governor's signature unless it is vetoed by the Governor within 30 days after its presentment.
(d) Any Bill vetoed by the Governor shall be returned to the House in which it originated immediately after the House has organized at the next regular or special session of the General Assembly. The Bill may then be reconsidered according to the procedure specified in this section. Any Bill enacted over the veto of the Governor, or any Bill which shall become law as the result of the failure of the Governor to act within the time specified, shall take effect 30 days after the Governor's veto is over-ridden, or on the date specified in the Bill, whichever is later. If the Bill is an emergency measure, it shall take effect when enacted. No such vetoed Bill shall be returned to the Legislature when a new General Assembly of Maryland has been elected and sworn since the passage of the vetoed Bill.
(e) The Governor shall have power to disapprove of any item or items of any Bills making appropriations of money embracing distinct items, and the part or parts of the Bill approved shall be the law, and the item or items of appropriations disapproved shall be void unless repassed according to the rules or limitations prescribed for the passage of other Bills over the Executive veto.
(amended by Chapter 194, Acts of 1890, ratified Nov. 3, 1891; Chapter 714, Acts of 1949, ratified Nov. 7, 1950; Chapter 664, Acts of 1959, ratified Nov. 8, 1960; Chapter 883, Acts of 1974, ratified Nov. 5, 1974; Chapter 793, Acts of 1988, ratified Nov. 8, 1988).
| Text of Section 18:
It shall be the duty of the Governor, semi-annually (and oftener, if he deem it expedient) to examine under oath the Treasurer and Comptroller of the State on all matters pertaining to their respective offices; and inspect and review their Bank and other Account Books.
| Text of Section 19:
He shall, from time to time, inform the Legislature of the condition of the State and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may judge necessary and expedient.
| Text of Section 20:
He shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, except in cases of impeachment, and in cases, in which he is prohibited by other Articles of this Constitution; and to remit fines and forfeitures for offences against the State; but shall not remit the principal or interest of any debt due the State, except in cases of fines and forfeitures; and before granting a nolle prosequi, or pardon, he shall give notice, in one or more newspapers, of the application made for it, and of the day on, or after which, his decision will be given; and in every case, in which he exercises this power, he shall report to either Branch of the Legislature, whenever required, the petitions, recommendations and reasons, which influenced his decision.
| Text of Section 21:
The Governor shall reside at the seat of government, and, from and after the fourth Wednesday in January 1967, shall receive for his services an annual salary of Twenty-five Thousand Dollars, except that beginning in the year 1978 the salary of the Governor shall be as provided in Section 21A of this Article.
(amended by Chapter 315, Acts of 1953, ratified Nov. 2, 1954; Chapter 641, Acts of 1965, ratified Nov. 8, 1966; Chapter 543, Acts of 1976, ratified Nov. 2, 1976).
| Text of Section 21A:
(a) The salaries of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be as provided in this section.
(b) The Governor's Salary Commission is created. It consists of seven members: The State Treasurer; three appointed by the President of the Senate; and three appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates. Members of the General Assembly and officers and employees of the State or a political subdivision of the State are not eligible for appointment to the Commission. The members of the Commission shall elect a member to be chairman, and the concurrence of at least five members is required for any formal Commission action. The terms of members shall be for 4 years, except that the persons first appointed to the Commission shall serve from June 1, 1977 until May 31, 1980. The members of the Commission are eligible for reappointment. Members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred in carrying out responsibilities under this section.
(c) Within ten days after the commencement of the regular session of the General Assembly in 1978, and within ten days after the commencement of the regular session of the General Assembly each fourth year thereafter, the Commission shall make a written recommendation to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and other members of the General Assembly as to the salary of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
(d) The recommendation shall be introduced as a joint resolution in each house of the General Assembly not later than the fifteenth day of the session. The General Assembly may amend the joint resolution to decrease the recommended salaries, but may not amend the joint resolution to increase the recommended salaries. If the General Assembly fails to adopt a joint resolution in accordance with this section within 50 days after its introduction, the salaries recommended by the Commission shall apply. If the General Assembly amends the joint resolution in accordance with this section, the salaries specified in the joint resolution, as amended, shall apply. If the Commission recommends no salary change, a joint resolution shall not be introduced.
(e) The Commission may not recommend salaries lower than that received by the incumbent Governor at the time the recommendation is made; and the General Assembly may not amend the joint resolution to provide for salaries lower than that received by the incumbent Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
(f) A change in salary resulting from either Commission recommendation or amended joint resolution under this section shall take effect at the beginning of the next ensuing term of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
(g) Commission inaction or failure of the Commission to meet the requirements of this section with respect to proposing a change in salary for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall result in no change in salary.
(added by Chapter 543, Acts of 1976, ratified Nov. 2, 1976).
| Text of Section 22:
A Secretary of State shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall continue in office, unless sooner removed by the Governor, till the end of the official term of the Governor from whom he received his appointment, and receive such annual salary as the General Assembly may from time to time by law prescribe.
(amended by Chapter 42, Acts of 1954, ratified Nov. 2, 1954).
| Text of Section 23:
The Secretary of State shall carefully keep and preserve a Record of all official acts and proceedings, which may at all times be inspected by a committee of either Branch of the Legislature; and he shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by Law, or as may properly belong to his office, together with all clerical duty belonging to the Executive Department.
| Text of Section 24:
The Governor may make changes in the organization of the Executive Branch of the State Government, including the establishment or abolition of departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, and the reallocation or reassignment of functions, powers, and duties among the departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Executive Branch. Where these changes are inconsistent with existing law, or create new governmental programs they shall be set forth in executive orders in statutory form which shall be submitted to the General Assembly within the first ten days of a regular session. An executive order that has been submitted shall become effective and have the force of law on the date designated in the Order unless specifically disapproved, within fifty days after submission, by a resolution of disapproval concurred in by a majority vote of all members of either House of the General Assembly. No executive order reorganizing the Executive Branch shall abolish any office established by this Constitution or shall change the powers and duties delegated to particular officers or departments by this Constitution.
(added by Chapter 790, Acts of 1969, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).