A scaled-down model of the federal government, the Maryland state government is composed of three main branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. Each branch is assigned certain duties and responsibilities that complement and keep the powers of the other two branches in check.

Maryland Government 101: The Legislative Branch

Though every branch of the Maryland government exists to serve the citizens of the state, the Maryland General Assembly, composed of 141 Delegates and 47 Senators who are elected by popular vote, is most representative of the Maryland electorate in the state government. Once elected, members of the Maryland General Assembly are expected to be their district’s voice in the government when it comes to taking legislative action.

How did your representative vote on business-related legislation this year? Check out the 2022 Roll Call results.

The legislative body performs a variety of functions such as drafting bills and passing laws, proposing changes to the State Constitution, and helping members of the Executive Branch create an annual budget. The mechanics of the Maryland legislative process are complex; visit the Maryland General Assembly website to learn more.

Maryland Government 101: The Executive Branch

The Executive Branch of the Maryland government enacts and enforces the laws of the state, and provides leadership for state government-controlled entities such as the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Education, and so on.

The head of the Executive Branch is the Governor, whose primary responsibilities are to ensure that an annual budget is drafted, approved, and implemented; that state laws are enforced; and that all appointments outlined by the State Constitution are made. The governor is elected every four years on an even-numbered year in which there is no presidential election.

Learn more about Maryland’s Executive Branch here.

Maryland Government 101: The Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch of Maryland resolves issues involving both civil and criminal state law violations. The four-tiered Maryland court system includes the District Court of Maryland, Circuit Courts, Court of Special Appeals, and the Court of Appeals.

In addition, there are also a number of agencies and offices that assist in carrying out judicial matters in the state of Maryland such as the State Board of Law Examiners, the Attorney Grievance Commission, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the State Law Library, and the Judicial Nominating Commissions.

Learn more about Maryland’s Judicial Branch.