Governor Moore Enables Budget Session Extension for Maryland Legislature

Governor Wes Moore has taken preemptive action to allow the Maryland General Assembly extra time to finalize the state’s budget if needed. Moore issued a proclamation that would permit lawmakers to extend their regular legislative session by up to 10 additional days solely for the purpose of passing a budget bill.

The regular 90-day session is scheduled to adjourn on Monday, April 10th. Without an extension, the legislature would be unable to complete budget negotiations past that date. Moore’s proclamation provides a contingency plan for the House and Senate to remain in session until April 20th if they require more time to reach an agreement on Maryland’s fiscal year 2024 budget.

However, sources close to the budgeting process indicate that it is unlikely the extended session will actually be necessary. Lawmakers are reportedly on track to approve a comprehensive budget before the conclusion of the regular session on the 10th.

Maryland law requires the governor to issue an extension proclamation ahead of the final day in order for the legislature to have the option of prolonging their work on the budget. The extended schedule would solely allow further budget deliberations – no other legislation could be considered during the additional 10-day period.

By proactively enabling this potential session extension, Governor Moore is aiming to provide flexibility for the Assembly to take whatever time is required to responsibly fulfill their constitutional duty of passing a balanced state budget. Still, both the executive and legislative branches currently expect Maryland’s fiscal plan to be finalized within the standard 90-day timeline.

The governor’s proclamation simply serves as a prudent contingency in case unforeseen circumstances exhaust the regular session’s window for budget negotiations. Leadership in Annapolis remains confident the work can be completed by the scheduled April 10th adjournment date.