High court orders ambulance fee referendum placed on ballot
Maryland's highest court has reversed a lower court decision and ordered that a referendum on a Montgomery County ambulance fee be placed on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Thousands of signatures, and thus the referendum, had been rejected under an interpretation of state law that critics said brought about absurd results because it excluded people based on the way they signed their names. A Montgomery Circuit Court judge had ruled that elections officials acted properly and that the ambulance referendum not be put on the ballot.
But after oral arguments Wednesday, the Court of Appeals reversed that decision and sent the case back to the Montgomery court "with directions to enter judgment in favor of Appellants and an order that a referendum on the validity [of the ambulance fee legislation] be placed on the ballot at the General Election to be held on November 2, 2010."
Opponents of the ambulance fee called it a stunning victory.