The Franchot Provision: House vs. Senate
As they broke for the weekend, budget negotiators from the House and the Senate remained at odds over several weighty issues, including stem cell research grants and a new fund to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
And then there's the Peter Franchot provision.
The Senate, which is not exactly a fan club for the state's independent-minded comptroller, has inserted language in the budget restricting Franchot (D) from spending money on anything but his constitutional duties.
It is not clear which activities senators are seeking to curtail, but Franchot, the state's tax collector, has ruffled the feathers of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and others with his outspoken opposition to slot machine gambling and to a computer services tax that originated in the Senate during a special session in the fall.
Miller said last week that Franchot has seemed at times more interested in promoting himself than doing his job.
But House budget writers defended Franchot, a former delegate from Montgomery County, during negotiations Friday.
"You don't do that for anyone else," Del. Charles E. Barkley (D-Montgomery) protested to his Senate counterparts.
As with several issues, both sides postponed a resolution until this week.
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