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Session Laws, 1954
Volume 604, Page 304   View pdf image (33K)
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304 VETOES

the patent political device which the legislative history of
this Bill reflects in purporting to authorize a bonus.

The grave constitutional questions which arose because
of premature action on this Bill were matters of public
knowledge and the subject of repeated comment during the
pendency of the legislation. It is significant that at the same
time Senate Bill 48, also providing for a veterans' bonus,
was pending in the Senate of Maryland. The Senate Bill
had no constitutional infirmities resulting from procedural
defects. This Bill, of definite constitutional validity, was
passed by the Senate. Thereafter, it was introduced in the
House and referred to the Rules Committee. The House
then adjourned without taking action upon the Senate Bill.

The legislative background of the subject Bill has occa-
sioned criticism of a legislative session otherwise conducted
in an orderly manner with careful attention to procedural
details. In fairness to the responsible leadership of the
House of Delegates, I am reliably advised that officials of the
House warned sponsors of the bill that they were proceeding
illegally in forcing action on the measure prior to passage
of the budget. The disregard of this warning has created
considerable doubt that a majority of the Legislature seri-
ously desired passage of a valid bonus bill, but merely
sought to make political capital by sending to me one that
would not stand the test of constitutionality. The expres-
sion of this view is not primarily mine, but that of the public.

It is my duty under the Constitution to act in accordance
with its requirements, and under our division of Legislative
and Executive powers, which has worked so well during the
four years of my term, I am afforded the opportunity of con-
isidered judgment and study of legislative acts which is not
always available to members of the Legislature. I believe
that there are many sincere members who, upon reflection
and after examination of the Attorney General's opinion,
will agree with the conclusion I have reached in vetoing this
Bill—that it is the only possible course of action consistent
with honor and duty.

Yours very truly,

(s) THEODORE R. MCKELDIN,

Governor
TRMcK :mg


 

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Session Laws, 1954
Volume 604, Page 304   View pdf image (33K)
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