When the Office of Comptroller was first conceived in the Maryland Constitution over one and a half centuries ago, it was because the people of Maryland believed it necessary to directly elect an independent constitutional officer to protect taxpayer dollars from mismanagement. To this day, that constitutional language remains: that the comptroller shall “have the general superintendence of the fiscal affairs of the State” and “prepare plans for the improvement and management of the revenue.”
Maryland has one of the most dynamic economies in the nation, but opportunities to share in the economy’s gains have proven to be unequal. While Marylanders in wealthier and more educated communities reap unprecedented wealth from the state’s growth, residents in rural communities or black and brown neighborhoods are too often left wondering how to get a good job without investment in their communities or even basic transportation services.
Beyond the state’s duty to make economic investments, Marylanders have entrusted their government with profound social responsibilities. Parents count on the state to provide a good education for their kids, setting them up to succeed. Residents rely on the state to administer justice fairly and evenly, keeping communities safe without condemning a whole generation of young men to a cycle of incarceration and poverty. Families rely on the state to prevent exclusionary zoning and skyrocketing rents and home prices, evidence of a housing market broken by poor government decision-making.