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Maryland lawmakers remove regulatory powers of comptroller

jump-franchot-peter-mf54ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland General Assembly has removed regulatory authority over alcohol, tobacco and gasoline from the comptroller’s office.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate voted Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the measure.

The bill created a battle between Comptroller Peter Franchot and fellow Democrats who hold a supermajority in both chambers.

Franchot, a statewide elected official who is the state’s tax collector, has described the measure as political retribution for standing up for small craft brewers. He has called it a needless and expensive action for work that is done well under his office.

But supporters of the change say there are only three states with those regulatory powers in the office of an elected official. The bill moves the regulatory authority to a commission.