Don Norris, Public Policy, in the Washington Examiner

Over the last four years, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and the General Assembly have created dozens of commissions, advisory panels and task forces to examine issues from renewable energy to prison violence to suicide prevention, according to the Washington Examiner. “These [councils] have a really clear political purpose,” said Donald F. Norris, chair of the Department of Public Policy. “[The governor] can set up an advisory group of various stakeholders in the arena, then make recommendations [to the legislature] based upon what they say.” Such recommendations might involve killing or delaying a bill, shifting budget priorities or pursuing new policy strategies. The Examiner notes that in 2010 commissions were used to study overhauls of both the state’s corporate tax code and pension system; recommendations from the former were largely dismissed, but the legislature chose to implement many findings from the pension commission.


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