|Peter V. R. Franchot|
|34th Comptroller of Maryland|
January 22, 2007
|Preceded by||William Donald Schaefer|
|Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 20th district
January 14, 1987 – January 22, 2007
|Succeeded by||Tom Hucker
November 25, 1947 |
New Haven, Connecticut
|Residence||Takoma Park, Maryland|
Peter V. R. Franchot (born November 25, 1947) was elected Maryland's 33rd Comptroller on November 7, 2006 and assumed office as the Comptroller of Maryland in January 2007.
Education and family
Franchot, born in New Haven, Connecticut, attended Phillips Academy of Andover, Massachusetts, obtained a B.A. in English from Amherst College in 1973 and graduated from Northeastern University School of Law with a J.D. in 1978. Franchot now resides in Takoma Park, Maryland with his wife Anne Maher and his two children, Abigail and Nicholas. He has served his community as treasurer of the Longbranch Sligo Citizens Association, and as a coach for the Takoma Park Youth Soccer League and the Montgomery County Youth Hockey League.
Peter Franchot served in the United States Army from 1968 to 1970. Franchot has experience as an attorney and a self-employed business development consultant. From 1980 to 1986, Franchot served as staff director to Congressman Edward J. Markey. Prior to his election to statewide office, Comptroller Franchot served 20 years (1987-2007) in the General Assembly, representing the people of Montgomery County, Maryland in the Maryland House of Delegates.
During his time in the Maryland House of Delegates, Franchot was a member of the Appropriations Committee and served on multiple subcommittees.
- Law enforcement & transportation subcommittee
- Education and transportation subcommittee
- Oversight committee on program open space and agricultural land preservation
- Capital budget subcommittee
- Chair, Public safety & administration subcommittee
- Oversight committee on pensions
- Oversight committee on personnel
There he wrote legislation to lower tuition at our 2 and 4 year colleges and universities and fought for increased funding for education at every level. He became a leading defender of our environment, preserving the Chesapeake Bay and co-authored a Constitutional amendment to protect Maryland's public parks. He fought to raise the state's minimum wage, to increase access to health care and passed legislation that returned over $500 million to Maryland homeowners.
During Franchot’s service, prior to his appointment as the Comptroller of Maryland he served on several other committees as well.
- Special joint committee on MED-EVAC Program
- House Chair, Joint Committee on Federal Relations
- Chair, Special Committee on County Finances, Montgomery County Delegation
- Transportation Committee, Montgomery County Delegation
- Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
- Maryland Veterans Caucus
- National Conference of State Legislatures (transportation committee)
- Chair, Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce (1985–1986)
- Sound Barrier Review Panel (1995–1996)
- State Information Technology Board (1999–2004)
- Committee on Building Public Trust and Confidence in the Justice System (1999)
- Virginia-Maryland-District of Columbia Joint Legislative Commission on Interstate Transportation (2000–2003)
- Legislative counsel, Union of Concerned Scientists
- Delegate, Democratic Party National Convention, 2008
Comptroller of Maryland
A candidate for Comptroller of Maryland, Franchot defeated incumbent William Donald Schaefer and fellow challenger Janet S. Owens in a close Democratic primary election on September 12, 2006. He defeated the Republican nominee Anne McCarthy in the General Election on November 7, 2006. Franchot was sworn on January 22, 2007.
Throughout Franchot’s career, he has been a strong advocate for education, health care, transportation and environmental protection initiatives. As Comptroller, he has acted as a fiscal watchdog for the taxpayers of Maryland and an independent voice on the powerful, three-member Maryland Board of Public Works, which approves millions of dollars in State contracts each year. Comptroller Franchot has worked to keep Maryland competitive in the knowledge-based economy, assisting working families and protecting the State's natural resources.
Franchot is an active Comptroller who has spoken out on a number of his issues. Early in his term, he "issued statements about divesting state pension money from Darfur... railed against the possible implementation of slot machine gambling to mitigate a looming budget crisis... supported a doomed House of Delegates health care plan... led the successful charge against a Kent Island development that environmentalists argued would harm the Chesapeake Bay. And he has cast himself as a chief advocate for expanding Maryland's biotechnology industry." 
Early in his term, Franchot promoted the idea of investing state pension funds in the life sciences sector. Franchot believes that such an investment will spur growth for that industry in Maryland. Franchot says that the industry has tremendous potential to create high paying jobs in Maryland.
Franchot’s biggest programs and efforts revolve around helping Maryland tax payers. Through his unclaimed property efforts, he has successfully reunited Marylanders statewide with their unclaimed property, generating income for the state. He protects Maryland consumers in other ways such as his involvement on the year-long study which verifies that gas is being stored at the proper temperatures to ensure consumers will purchase a true gallon of gas each visit to the pumps.
The Comptroller has launched a campaign to promote financial literacy to students across all grade levels. He focuses on the costs of not educating the next generations and how important it is for them to be educated on sound financial principles. His campaign would erect a statewide graduate requirement in financial literacy.
Franchot has enforced tax fairness by introducing new tax fairness initiatives, and over the past five years, the Comptroller’s Office has collected more than $2.9 billion in delinquent taxes. The Comptroller has also cracked down on putting an end to the smuggling of cigarettes and alcohol, adding up to more than $2 million combined in contraband.
During his time as Comptroller, Mr. Franchot has been an advocate for expanding opportunities for Minority Business Enterprise companies throughout Maryland. The “Terra Maria” fund—designed to create an opportunity for emerging investment firms—now exceeds $2.9 billion. Franchot is also an advocate for green technology and through his efforts, more than 2 million Marylanders filed their taxes electronically in 2011 and saved the State $1.60 per file.
Peter Franchot has worked hard to promote Maryland’s winery industry by raising awareness and advocating for the wineries. He has brought together a coalition to help write and pass landmark legislation that allowed Maryland consumers to purchase wine and have it shipped directly to their homes. With his leadership on the Maryland Wineries Act of 2010 and the direct shipment legislation in 2011, his efforts led to increased sales, more tourist trade and greater recognition for Maryland wineries.
Franchot is known for speaking out against overspending in Maryland and has had successful efforts in ending unnecessary spending as well as saving tax payers money. He has earned respect from both Republicans and Democrats alike. He has also become an avid Twitter user and was the first public official to tweet from a Board of Public Works meeting. His successful campaigns and efforts along with his personable behavior led him to win the 2010 campaign by a landslide. 
Franchot campaigned against bringing slot machine gambling to Maryland. As a member of the House of Delegates, he led a successful coalition of lawmakers to oppose the Constitutional amendment to legalize slots. The coalition succeeded in placing before the voters a Constitutional amendment to legalize slots. In 2008, Franchot, along with hundreds of grassroots leaders from around the state, launched Marylanders United to Stop Slots to encourage a 'no' vote on the referendum. Franchot argued that the high social costs of increased crime, broken families and bankruptcies would outweigh any revenue gains.  Franchot endorsed Obama in early January 2008  and actively campaigned for him across the state.
Comptroller Franchot was an outspoken leader against expanding gambling in Maryland, Question 7, in the 2012 elections. The ballot referendum would allow a new casino to be built in Maryland as well as allow an expansion of table games at current casinos.
Groups for the referendum insist(ed) the revenue generated by the new casinos would go to funding education in the state of Maryland as well as create much needed jobs.
Comptroller Franchot cited any revenue generated by a new casino will take several years to come to fruition, and that revenue has been drastically overestimated by supporters. In turn, casino operators received tax cuts up to 25 percent, while Maryland families have had their taxes and tolls raised repeatedly.
“Any education funding that goes into the Education Trust Fund is subject to being raided by the legislature," Franchot said. "That is what's happened historically; that inevitably is what will happen again."
The gambling referendum passed by a narrow margin, 52 percent to 48 percent.
- Distinguished Partnership Award, Baltimore-Washington, DC, Chapter, National Association of Securities Professionals, 2007.
- William R. Snodgrass Distinguished Leadership Award, Association of Government Accountants, 2008.
- Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
- BMORE News- Minority Business Advocacy Award, 2007
|This section requires expansion. (November 2011)|
- 2006 comptroller primary results, Maryland State Board of Elections.
- Ovetta Wiggins, "Franchot Takes Office, Claims Expanded Role", The Washington Post, January 23, 2007, page B02.
- Baltimore Sun, 28 May 2007 http://www.franchot.com/node/232
- Matt Connolly, "Casino Companies Prepare for Expansion in Maryland", "The Washington Examiner, November 7, 2012.
William Donald Schaefer
|Comptroller of Maryland