Maryland voters said yes on Tuesday to a proposed constitutional change giving the state's legislature more authority over state spending - a change that both Acting Gov. Blair Lee III and suspended Gov. Marvin Mandel had opposed, saying it could lead to runaway growth in state budgets.
Voters approved by a more than 50,000 vote margin a statewide ballot question giving the General Assembly power to require that the governor provide money in the budget for programs enacted by the legislature.
Lee and others who had opposed the change warned that approval of the constitutional amendment might lead to reckless spending by the General Assembly.
Many legislators favored the measure, arguing that it was wrong for the governor to be able to refuse the carry out laws enacted by the General Assembly for not including funds for such programs.
Voters considered 12 proposed changes in state law and decided to adopt all but three. One rejected amendments would have allowed Maryland to borrow more money on a short-term basis.
Two other rejected propositions involved giving local governments - Anne Arundel County, Chestertown and Cecil County municipalities - authority to take land quickly by condemnation even before a final fair price for the land is determined.
Voters approved another proposition that repeals such quick-take condemnation authority for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County voters approved five out of six county propositions on the ballot, including one forbidding the use of county funds to operate a landfill on land zoned for residential use.
Prince George's County voters approved all eight ballot questions before them, including a proposal to require voter authorizations of Metro subway construction bonds.
In Montgomery County voters rejected a tax-limiting proposal - the so-called TRIM proposal - but adopted a limitation on county spending tied to the Consumer Price Index. Prince George's County voters approved a ceiling of $140 million on county property taxes.
Other state propositions that were approved included one allowing built in obsolescence for constitutional amendments designed for a limited period of time, and another allowing changes in the salary of public officials whose terms exceed four years. Still another proposition requires the approval of a majority of voters in the affected jurisdiction, as well as the state, before a constitutional amendment affecting only one of the state's 23 counties or Baltimore City can take effect.