ANNAPOLIS – A government restructuring commission unanimously recommended overhauls in scores of Maryland agencies Tuesday.
The commission had already released a draft of its proposals Nov. 10 and made “very few” revisions before voting Tuesday, said former Gov. Marvin Mandel, the panel’s chairman.
Commission members had made other changes after a Nov. 13 public hearing. Following the outcry from senior citizen activists, the panel excised its recommendation for a study of moving the Department of Aging into a new Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
One of Tuesday’s few amendments blunted the commission’s recommendation to privatize Maryland Public Television. The group now only proposes studying that possibility.
The commission’s final report goes to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. on Dec. 8.
“I think it was a tremendous job done in a very short period of time,” Mandel said of the commission’s work.
Among the myriad recommendations are revamped oversight of Chesapeake Bay programs, consolidation of dozens of police agencies and conferring some authority over school construction to the Maryland Stadium Authority.
Ehrlich has the authority to implement some of the proposals, Mandel said, but others will require General Assembly approval.
“The governor appreciates the hard work and commitment demonstrated by the commission members and looks forward to reading the final report,” said Ehrlich spokeswoman Shareese DeLeaver.
Ehrlich created the 25-member Commission on the Structure and Efficiency of State Government in August with the goals of increasing efficiency, cutting costs and strengthening his oversight of Maryland’s independent agencies.
The final draft will be made public, said commission staffer David Treasure, when Ehrlich receives it Dec. 8.