Difference between revisions of "Governor of Maryland"

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{{State trifecta status|state=Maryland|control=Democratic}}
{{State trifecta status|state=Maryland|control=Democratic}}
::''See also: [[Maryland State Legislature]], [[Maryland House of Representatives]], [[Maryland State Senate]]''
==Current officer==
==Current officer==
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{{SEO divisions missing}}
{{SEO divisions missing}}
==Role in state budget==
::''See also: [[Maryland state budget]]''
{{Maryland budget process}}

Revision as of 12:53, 8 May 2014

Maryland Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
Term limits:  2 consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Maryland Constitution, Article II, Section I
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Martin O'Malley2.jpg
Name:  Martin O'Malley
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 17, 2007
Compensation:  $150,000
Next election:  Ineligible for re-election
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Maryland Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralComptrollerTreasurerSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerSecretary of LaborPublic Service Commission
The Governor of the State of Maryland is an elected Constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office in Maryland. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.[1]

As of May 2015, Maryland is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas.

See also: Maryland State Legislature, Maryland House of Representatives, Maryland State Senate

Current officer

The 61st and current officeholder is Martin O'Malley, a Democrat elected in 2006 and 2010.[2]


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Article II, the Executive Department.

Under Article II, Section I:

The executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor...


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

A candidate for the governor's chair must be:

  • must be at least 30 years old
  • a resident and registered voter in Maryland for the five years preceding the election


Maryland elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For Maryland, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the third Wednesday in the January following an election. Thus, January 19, 2011 and January 21, 2015 are inaugural days.

In the event of a tie, the Senate and House of Delegates shall meet and cast ballots to choose the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Maryland governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.

Maryland Constitution, Article II, Section 1

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.

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of Maryland State Governors from 1992-2013.
Governor of Maryland Partisanship.PNG


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article II, Sections 6 and 7.

Regarding the Governor-elect, if that individual dies or resigns, the Lieutenant Governor shall become the Governor for the full term. If the Governor-elect fails to take office for any other reason, the Lieutenant Governor shall take over with the title of 'Acting Governor' only until the vacancy is permanently filled.

When the Governor is temporarily unable to discharge the office, whether or not he is able to communicate that in writing to the Lieutenant Governor, the latter shall become the Acting Governor. Before resuming his duties, the Governor must inform the Lieutenant Governor in writing of the fact.

At any time, by a three-fifths vote, the General Assembly may declare the Governor, or the Lieutenant Governor, mentally or physically unfit to hold the office. For purposes of taking such a vote, a member of the Assembly may call both chambers into a joint session. If such a resolution concerning the Governor's fitness for office is adopted, it shall be delivered to a Maryland Court of Appeals, which shall, in turn, make a decision. The same process applies to a Governor-elect or a Lieutenant Governor-elect.

If the governor's seat becomes otherwise vacant, the Lieutenant Governor shall assume the office and complete the term. After him, the President of the Senate is next to succeed. He shall, as Acting Governor, retain the title of Senate President, but the Senate shall nominate another member to execute the actual tasks of that office.

Under circumstances when the Governor-elect fails to take office, the Court of Appeals has exclusive jurisdiction is settling disputes and issues that arise from that situation.

With respect to Article III, Section 26 of the Constitution, the legislature may remove and impeach the Governor or the Lieutenant Governor.


Click here to view larger-scale image of the Maryland Governor Organizational Chart as of July 9, 2013.

Because of the extent of her constitutional powers, the governor of Maryland has been ranked among the most powerful governors in the United States.

The governor is the commander-in-chief of all Maryland's naval and militia forces, though he may not take direct command without the consent of the legislature.

With the consent of the Senate, the Governor nominates and appoints all civil and military officers whose manner of appointment is not otherwise provided in law. However, under §10 and 10A, "lame duck" governors lose that privilege. Specifically, a governor who has lost a primary or a general election in a re-election bid in the span between the election he lost and the inauguration loses his appointment prerogatives. The same applies to a term limited Governor in the span between Election Day and Inauguration Day. The only exceptions is for emergencies, which require the Governor to file a Statement of Emergency with the Maryland Secretary of State; such appointments may be revoked by the succeeding Governor.

At his pleasure, the Governor may remove any appointee for incompetence or misconduct. Rare among governors, Maryland's chief executive may also suspend any military officer and may, further, initiate a Court Martial. (§ 15)

At least twice each year, the Governor must, under oath, examine the Treasurer and the Comptroller of Maryland, and review the state's books. (§ 18) Under § 19, the Governor also gives a periodic address to the legislature on the condition of the state and makes recommendations.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Convening extraordinary session of the legislature, or the Senate alone, as well as moving the location of the legislature's meeting under special circumstances (§ 16)
  • Vetoing all bills from the legislature, including appropriations bills, subject to a legislative override (§ 17)
  • Granting pardons and reprieves, saves in cases in impeachment, and forfeiting fines, provided he follows a certain protocol for notifying lawmakers and citizens of such action (§ 20)
  • Reorganizing the Executive Branch, including establishing and abolishing entire departments, offices, and agencies (§ 24)


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Governor of Maryland has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Role in state budget

See also: Maryland state budget

The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[3][4]

  1. Budget instructions are sent to state agencies in June of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
  2. State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in late August.
  3. Agency hearings are held from October through November.
  4. Public hearings are held from January through March.
  5. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature on the third Wednesday in January.
  6. The legislature typically adopts a budget in April. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The fiscal year begins July 1.

Maryland is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[4]

The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to adopt a balanced budget.[4]


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

Both § 20 and § 20A address the Governor's salary. Originally set at $20,000 a year under § 20, a 1976 Amendment, that took effect in 1978, introduced a seven-member commission. Serving four-year terms, the members shall elect a chair amongst themselves and, within ten days of the commencement of each Regular Legislative Session, make a written recommendation concerning the gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial salaries to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the General Assembly.

That recommendation must be introduced to the legislature as a joint resolution by the 15th day of session. The legislature may amend the resolution to decrease the salary but not to increase it. It the legislature fails to pass the resolution by the 50th day of session, the Commission recommended salary shall take effect.

The Commission may not recommend, and the legislature may not amend, the salary to be lower than that most recently received by the incumbent Governor. Whatever the outcome, the decided-upon salary takes effect with the beginning of the next gubernatorial term. If either the Commission or the Assembly fails to take action, the same salary already in place applies.


In 2013, the governor's salary remained at $150,000.[5]


In 2010, the Governor of Maryland was paid $150,000 a year, the 11th highest gubernatorial salary in America.

Gubernatorial residence

Pursuant to Section 20, Maryland is one of the few states where the state's Constitution actually requires that the sitting governor reside at the official residence.

Historical officeholders

There have been 66 Governor of Maryland since 1777. Of the 66 officeholders, 9 were Republican, 33 were Democrat.[6]


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Maryland
Partisan breakdown of the Maryland governorship from 1992-2013

From 1992 to 2013, in Maryland there were Democratic governors in office for 18 years while there were Republican governors in office for four years, including the last seven. Maryland is one of seven states that were run by a Democratic governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Maryland was under Democratic trifectas for the last seven years of the study period.

Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Maryland, the Maryland State Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Maryland state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Maryland state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Maryland experienced two long periods of Democratic trifectas, between 1992 and 2002 and again between 2007 and 2013. The state cracked the top-10 in the SQLI ranking in three separate years (2002, 2006, and 2008), twice under a Democratic trifecta and once under divided government. Maryland ranked lowest on the SQLI ranking in two separate years (1992 and 1995), in which the state placed 25th under a Democratic trifecta. Maryland has never had a Republican trifecta.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 16.35
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
  • SQLI average with divided government: 10.75
Chart displaying the partisanship of Maryland government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Maryland + Governor

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Governor of Maryland News Feed

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Contact information

100 State Circle
Annapolis, Maryland 21401-1925
Toll Free:1.800.811.8336

See also

External links

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