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Battle over MD comptroller's powers continues

Annapolis state house
Posted at 6:09 AM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 06:09:39-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — An ongoing battle between Maryland's comptroller and lawmakers is focusing on the office's regulatory powers over alcohol, tobacco and gasoline and what's best for the health of state residents.

Comptroller Peter Franchot and sponsors of a measure to transfer regulatory powers to a commission held dueling news conferences Thursday.

Franchot says the bill is political retribution for trying to help small craft brewers. He cited a Bureau of Revenue Estimates report that says the bill could cost taxpayers $50 million.

But bill sponsors say Maryland is one of only three states with those regulatory powers in the office of an elected official. They were joined by health advocates who support the legislation as a better way of protecting residents from health concerns associated with alcohol abuse.