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Not So Fast on D.C. United Bill

Rosalind Helderman

House of Delegates staffers have discovered an amendment on the DC United soccer stadium proposal made by the House Appropriations Committee would violate the Maryland constitution.

The committee adopted a series of amendments in quick succession this afternoon, all designed to ensure that the state would not be committed to funding anything beyond a study of a possible stadium. And then the committee voted 17 to 7 to send the bill to the full House for consideration.

But Committee Chairman Norman H. Conway (D-Wicomico) said this evening the committee will have to take up the matter again because of a constitutionality issue.

The problem: one of the amendments said that after the Maryland Stadium Authority performed the study, it would have to report to the chairs of the legislative money committees to get approval to move on to the next phase. That would be a memorandum of understanding between the team, the state, Prince George's County and the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission that would set out how to fund further design work for a possible stadium. Conway said he has now learned this would give the legislature an unconstitutional veto over the work of the executive agency.

Conway said his committee will have to take another look at the bill. But, in the meantime, the House has adjourned for the night without taking up the issue. And so the study bill has failed to reach the Senate before a key deadline known as "cross over."

Is that a death knell for the issue? It could well be, although Conway noted that if the Senate supports the idea, the bill could still receive passage this year.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  March 30, 2009; 7:18 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , Prince George's County , Rosalind Helderman  
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Let me be the first to say: Arghhhhhhh! :(

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | March 30, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeesh! Talk about abstruse.

Posted by: stancollins | March 30, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Democracy is wonderful isn't it?

Posted by: sbg1 | March 30, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, too close a look at how the sausage is made.

Posted by: stancollins | March 30, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

This is a procedural error by the legislators. It is not the death knell the author of the article states it is. Does this stink? Of course it does, but is there anybody out there that thinks DC United is going to quit because of their stupidity. At the very worst the theme becomes 2013 for First Kick. No way DC United walks away because of this. They have too much invested in this and today was much more positive than negative in the long run. The committee passed the measure even though they are legislatively incompetent. It didn't fail folks. Please remember that as it was still a victory for the proponents not the opponents. If the opponents want to hang there hat on their failure today by all means let them. The legislative incompetence won't happen twice.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 30, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

"although Conway noted that if the Senate supports the idea, the bill could still receive passage this year."

could still receive passage this year? for a study? oy vey!

I hope State Senator Clay Davis can fix this mess right quick. He knows how to get things done!

Posted by: diego_r | March 31, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Divine Intervention is so very very beautiful to behold.

Posted by: PGCResident1 | March 31, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse


Only problem is that it is temporary. It passed and passed easily. They will fix the problem and it will pass again because it's only a study and harms no one. The divinity is fairly shallow.

Posted by: blackandred777 | March 31, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

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