Not So Fast on D.C. United Bill
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.
March 30, 2009; 7:18 PM ET
Categories: General Assembly , Prince George's County , Rosalind Helderman
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