Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Political Insurance – The General Assembly and BGE

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Just absolutely nuts…

Political insurance

In their electricity bill, Democrats installed several wonderful booby traps in case Republicans try to attack the measure outside the legislature after it's passed.

1) Section 19, paragraph 5: "No State funds may be spent directly or indirectly by any officer or unit of State government to challenge any portion of this Act, in a State court or federal court." This would apply to an officer of state government with the name of — to pick a random example — Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

2) Section 19, paragraph 1. If any action is brought to challenge the constitutionality or legality of the act, "The action shall be filed in the Circuit Court of Baltimore City. That will keep Public Service Commission Chairman Ken Schisler from filing a suit with a friendly judge on his Eastern Shore stomping grounds, as he has already done

3) The new proposed method of naming PSC commissioners would have the governor choose from a list furnished by the legislature (Section 12). But this just might be unconstitutional! (It could be a separation-of-powers issue, giving the assembly too much control over the executive branch.) If so, not a problem. See Section 22, which lets the attorney general (who's elected separately from the governor) name the PSC if courts block the other plan. Jay Hancock is a business columnist for The Baltimore Sun.

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2 Responses to “Political Insurance – The General Assembly and BGE”

  1. Warren said

    David,
    Good job of analyzing this 42 page monster! Interesting to note that the plan I supported at the end of session provided for no interest payment and an opt-out provision. The special session bill has an opt-out after 11 months and 25% interest – I voted against this bill in committee based on the fact that I do not think it will withstand a legal challenge on several counts – it illegally removes members of a state regulatory body – we have case precedence to show that a judge will kick out the "replace the PSC" language, it will not withstand a challenge in federal court because of the commerce clause restrictions – I believe the language in the bill violates the 5th amendment to the US constitution and lastly I think it is ridiculous to assume that BGE ratepayers don't have a choice on whether to opt out and have to pay a whopping 25% interest!

    Thanks
    Warren Miller

  2. William Capps said

    Well as far as the PSC is concerned, I think the new law as written is un-constitutional!
    What admazed me is this was slamed down our pockets from the past administration with reguard to deregulation.

    I would like to know what Howard County elected clowns voted for this. In Annapolis they have a mind set.
    ( If it is not broke, lets screw it up)
    AS far as the Governor is concerned I will vote for him and the LT. Governor for Senete.
    But the GOP have to get it togather. They have been weak on issues!

    What about this bad immagration bill the US Senate passed?
    The war in Iraq? Hope your not the cut and run crew.
    I have no glue as to where the GOP of MD stands.

    I am in Baltimore everyday and see illeagels at a 7-11 store every day taking jobs. The company I work for,had me go to the Ft. McHenery Tunnel, just to find out, from a person that works their, that sub contractors have illeagel people working for them.
    So as far as I am concerned, the GOP is selling out.
    The good ones should be voted back in, the GOP liberals should be fired.
    I’d run for office, but i know I could not get elected, because the GOP liberals would do what they could to stop me. Why?
    I would expose them as to who they are!

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