Maryland State Bar Association Thomas D. Murphy urged a House panel this week to reject legislation that would require any unspent annual revenue of the Attorney Grievance Commission to go to the state’s general fund rather than remain with the disciplinary body.
The AGC receives its funding from an annual court-ordered assessment on attorneys that is earmarked for oversight of the legal profession, Murphy told the House Judiciary Committee. The funds are not intended for the general use of the state and thus should not go to the general fund, he added.
“We Maryland lawyers paid our money to that [AGC] fund,” said Murphy, of Murphy & Mood PC in Rockville. The money “should be spent for the purpose we wrote our checks,” he added.
Murphy testified against House Bill 765, which would require AGC’s $7.85 million surplus as of last June 30 to go to the state treasury, as well as any future annual surpluses. The commission anticipates a $9 million surplus as of next June 30.
Del. Frank M. Conaway Jr., the bill’s chief sponsor, told the committee that Maryland must find ways to “beef’ up its revenue. Transferring AGC’s unspent money to the general fund would generate “$9 million worth of the beef,” said Conaway, D-Baltimore City.