Ballot Questions 2020 General Election


This November 3rd, your ballot will determine one of the most important Presidential Elections of our generation. Maryland voters will also vote on two other important but underreported statewide ballot measures: Question 1 and Question 2. Both of these measures are key to helping union households and working people in Maryland strengthen our voice in Annapolis.

Question 1: Constitutional Amendment – State Budget Process 

The proposed amendment authorizes the General Assembly, in enacting a balanced budget bill for fiscal year 2024 and each fiscal year thereafter, to increase, diminish, or add items, provided that the General Assembly may not exceed the total proposed budget as submitted by the Governor. 

Under present law, the Governor has more power over the state’s budget than any other Governor in the country – and this has not always served state employees well.  Currently, the Maryland General Assembly receives a budget proposal from the governor and is not allowed to add funds to any area of the budget or move funds around between different priorities. The General Assembly can only reduce spending. If this amendment passes, the General Assembly will be able to increase or decrease support for state programs and services in specific areas as long as the overall spending is not more than the budget submitted by the Governor. 

AFSCME Council 3 advocated for the passage of this amendment during the legislative session, and we strongly urge a YES vote.

  • This amendment will create the same checks and balances that every other state has.
  • Key priorities like schools and health care were subjected to cuts due to Maryland’s unusual budget rules. Passing this amendment will make it easier for us to invest in the public services AFSCME Council members provide.

Question 2: Commercial Gaming Expansion Referendum

The ballot question text asks: “Do you approve the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize sports and events betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?”

This referendum would allow the General Assembly to create legislation to expand commercial gaming to include sports and events betting.  If the referendum is approved, the General Assembly would then need to pass legislation that authorizes the State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to issue licenses for sports and event wagering in a future session.

As of May 2020, sports wagering has now been authorized by 22 States (including West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia) and the District of Columbia. It is anticipated that the state could see revenue enhancements of $14-40 million.

AFSCME Council 3 has long advocated for more revenues to fund long term budget issues often resolved on the backs of working people.  Question 2 is a step in the right direction and we urge a YES vote!

If you have any questions about these Ballot Measures, don't hesitate to reach out to our Legislative and Political Director, Lance, at [email protected] or 410-547-1515. To get involved in our program to help Get Out the Vote (GOTV) this fall, learn more now. We are running weekly phone banks on Tuesday evenings and Saturday's throughout the month of October- sign up for a shift today!

 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, 1625 L St., NW, Washington, DC, 20036. Lee Saunders, President.  (202)-429-1000