Like most state chief executives in the United States, the Governor is elected by the citizens of Maryland to serve a four-year term. Under the Constitution of Maryland, the Governor can run any number of times, but not more than twice in a row. This makes it possible for a two-term governor to run for the office again after remaining out of office for at least one term. An eligible candidate for Governor must be at least 30 years old, and also a resident of and a registered voter in Maryland for the five years preceding the election. If a candidate meets this minimum requirement, he or she must file his or her candidacy with the Maryland State Board of Elections, pay a filing fee, file a financial disclosure, and create a legal campaign financial body. The Governor, like all statewide officials in Maryland, is elected in the even-numbered years in which the election for President of the United States does not occur.
As the Chief Executive of the State of Maryland, the Governor heads the executive branch of government, which includes all state executive departments and agencies, as well as advisory boards, commissions, committees, and task forces. The main constitutional responsibility of the Governor of Maryland, and any other State's chief executive, is to carry out the business of the state and to enforce the laws passed by the Legislature. The Governor also has some say in these laws, since the Governor has the ability to veto any bill sent to his or her desk by the Maryland General Assembly, though the Assembly may override that veto. The Governor is also given a number of more specific powers as relates to appropriations of state funds, the appointment of state officials, and also a variety of less prominent and less commonly utilized powers.
Every year, the Governor must present a proposed budget to the Maryland General Assembly. After receiving the proposed budget, the Assembly is then allowed to decrease any portion of the budget for the executive branch, but it may never increase it or transfer funds between executive departments. The Assembly may, however, increase funds for the Legislative and Judicial branches of government. The Governor has the power to veto any law that is passed by the General Assembly, including a "line item veto", which can be used to strike certain portions of appropriations bills. The Legislature then has the power to override a Governor's veto by vote of three-fifths (60%) of the number of members in each house.
The Governor also sits on the Board of Public Works, whose other two members are the Comptroller and the Treasurer. This Board has broad powers in overseeing and approving the spending of state funds. They must approve state expenditures of all general funds and capital improvement funds, excluding expenditures for the construction of state roads, bridges, and highways. It has the power to solicit loans on its own accord either to meet a deficit or in anticipation of other revenues, in addition to approving expenditures of funds from loans authorized by the General Assembly.