Del. Timothy F. Maloney (D-Prince George's), whose mastery over Maryland's budget process made him one of the state's top political power brokers, announced yesterday that he will not seek reelection this fall.

"I've had a very productive 16 years, and I want to leave while my energy level is high," Maloney said. "If I had remained in the legislature, I would have made sacrifices that would not have been appropriate in my personal life."

Maloney, 38, said he is considering getting married and devoting more time to his Riverdale law practice.

For the last eight years, Maloney's chairmanship of the tiny capital budget subcommittee gave him control over hundreds of millions of dollars in construction projects across the state.

His ability to say yes or no to a new park, museum, railroad station or courthouse made him the man to see for lawmakers, bureaucrats and interest groups.

"Tim was in every deal," said Del. D. Bruce Poole (D-Hagerstown). "He wasn't the only person to see, but he was the first person to see."

Maloney, shirttail hanging out and diet soda in hand, deftly moved projects through the legislature, combining a detailed knowledge of budget numbers with a willingness to broker political deals.

He has been influential in state discussions of a new Washington Redskins stadium and in providing money for a new minor-league baseball park in Bowie.

During his 16 years, Maloney also was responsible in part for such projects as a $100 million performing arts center under construction at the University of Maryland's College Park campus; a new Prince George's County Courthouse; the Prince George's DWI Center; a Laurel historical museum; and, most recently, a statue of Thurgood Marshall to be built in front of the State House in Annapolis.

"I'm terribly sorry to see Timmy go," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Prince George's).

"We're on the outset of a new era in Maryland politics. There's going to be a brand-new General Assembly. We're going to have a brand- new governor, and there's going to be a lot of change."

Maloney's departure is another blow to the influence of Prince George's County in Annapolis. Sen. Thomas P. O'Reilly (D), who chaired the Finance Committee, is resigning to become a commissioner of the state Worker's Compensation Commission.

And House Speaker Pro Tem Gary R. Alexander (D), the second-most powerful person in the House of Delegates, is leaving office because of redistricting.

"The legislature is going to miss {Maloney} very much," said House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. (D-Allegany), who became close with Maloney during the last year after several seasons of political rivalry.

"Tim was the kind of a player that has many talents, exceptional literary talent, great sense of humor, and he's got very in-depth perceptions that are very important to the legislative process," Taylor said. "He used all of those talents in a very unselfish way."

To get the job done and keep a law practice going at the same time, Maloney said he had to forsake a private life.

It was common knowledge that a phone call to his home would always be met with an answering machine, testimony to his always being on the move.

Those work habits have long been a source of discussion among State House wags, who tell stories of 2 a.m. phone calls, midnight meetings and Saturday morning speeches from the delegate.

"He has a strong ethic of burning the midnight oil," Miller said.

Maloney said it was time to devote more effort to his personal life. He recently purchased a home and is installing a swimming pool there. He plans to have a family and devote himself to his law practice.

But he held out the prospect of returning to public life.

"This could turn out to be a sabbatical," he said.