CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: CIVIL MILITARY OFFICE

Question: Allow state and local officials, including legislators and judges, to serve at the same time as a member of a reserve component of the United States armed forces or as a member of the federal or state militia.

Explanation: This constitutional amendment expressly allows judges, legislators, and other state and local officials to be members of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States or members of the militia of the United States or the state of Maryland.

The purpose of the amendment is to clarify that these officials may serve in the Armed Forces Reserves, the National Guard or the Maryland State Guard without violating the state constitutional prohibition against holding more than one office.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: COURT CLERKS' OFFICES

Question: This constitutional amendment provides that the clerks of the circuit courts be governed by the rules adopted by the Maryland Court of Appeals (the state's highest court). Currently, local judges make these rules for the courts in their respective counties. The amendment requires that deputy clerks and other employees of the Office of the Clerk be appointed and removed according to procedures set by law. The amendment also proposes the repeal of authority of the clerks to appoint deputies and repeal of special provision governing clerks in Washington County and Baltimore City.

Explanation: The amendment proposes an alteration of the budget process by requiring the chief judge of the Court of Appeals to certify the budget of the Judiciary Department directly to the governor. Currently, the budget for the Judiciary Department is submitted to the comptroller prior to being certified to the governor.

The purpose of this amendment is to bring the budgets of the clerks of the circuit courts of the state into the control of the judicial branch of the government instead of the executive branch and to bring uniformity to personnel matters.

CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION: MARYLAND CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION

Question: Should a constitutional convention be called for the purpose of altering the state constitution or framing a new constitution?

Explanation: This constitutional question is placed on the ballot in accordance with the mandate of Article XIV, Section 2 of the Maryland Constitution, which requires that every 20 years the General Assembly provide by law for "taking the sense of the voters" at a general election on the question of whether to call a convention to consider altering the state constitution or framing a new constitution. During the 1990 session, the General Assembly enacted Chapter 261 for the purpose of proposing this question.

Should a majority of the votes cast in the general election be "for" the calling of a constitutional convention, as distinguished from a simple plurality of the votes on the question itself, then at the 1991 session the General Assembly is required to provide, by law, for the assembling of the convention and for the election of the convention delegates.

(Explanations provided by the State of Maryland)