To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with the federal Department of Homeland Security (created in 2002 following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001), homeland security in Maryland in 2003 operated under the authority of the governor; the governor's chief of staff was designated as the state homeland security advisor.
The State Ethics Commission, established in 1979, monitors compliance by state officeholders and employees with the Maryland public ethics law in order to avoid conflicts of interest; the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics, created in 1972, has similar responsibilities with respect to general assembly members. The Fair Campaign Financing Commission provides for the public financing of elections and sets campaign spending limits.
The State Board of Education is an independent policymaking body whose nine members are appointed by the governor; its responsibilities include selection of a superintendent of schools to run the Education Department. The growth and development of postsecondary institutions are the responsibility of the State Board for Higher Education. The Department of Transportation oversees air, road, rail, bridge, and mass transit. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene coordinates public health programs, regulates in-state medical care, and supervises the 24
Maryland Presidential Vote by Political Parties, 1948–2000
|YEAR||ELECTORAL VOTE||MARYLAND WINNER||DEMOCRAT||REPUBLICAN||PROGRESSIVE||STATE'S RIGHTS DEMOCRAT||SOCIALIST|
|* Won US presidential election.|
local health departments. Social services and public assistance programs as well as employment security lie within the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Resources. The Department of Housing and Community Development assures the provision of low-cost housing. The Department of Business and Economic Development advances job opportunities and works to bring new businesses into the state. It also serves in a public relations capacity at home and abroad to stimulate international trade and tourism, and also invests in the arts and promotes sports events.
Maryland's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has statewide responsibility for the supervision and rehabilitation of adjudicated individuals, while the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation supervises employment training, job match services, unemployment insurance, and many of the state's licensing and regulatory boards for businesses and trades. The Department of State Police enforces state motor vehicle and criminal laws, preserves public peace, maintains safe traffic on public streets and highways, enforces laws relating to narcotics, and incorporates the office of the State Fire Marshal. Other organizations include the departments of agriculture, assessments and taxation, natural resources, personnel, and rehabilitation services (for those with disabilities).