Things are really gearing up towards the end of the year as we head into the 2020 legislative session. Around this time each year, state legislators meet with various groups to discuss their 2020 legislative agendas; the Montgomery County House and Senate Delegations have a series of meetings in Rockville; and my office finalizes our legislative package. Recently, for example, the District 16 Team met with Jews United for Justice.
As always, you can keep up with what I am doing by following me at @mkorman on Twitter or by clicking "Like" on Delegate Marc Korman on Facebook.
Each fall, the Spending Affordability Committee (SAC) meets for a detailed briefing on the state's budget and economic outlook. The so-called "SAC process" sets the stage for the next year's budget review and passage. You can read the recent briefing from the Department of Legislative Services online.
To briefly summarize, revenues are coming in higher than expected but projected expenses still outpace revenues even without the major education funding initiatives being planned. There is a lot more detail in the package. Keep in mind, we balance our state budget annually so the projections are important but not indicative of actual operating deficits like the federal government has.
Delegate Erek Barron and I organized 25 of our colleagues from Montgomery and Prince George's County to request that WMATA/Metro begin to video stream its monthly Board and Committee meetings.
There is simple, off the shelf technology Maryland is using to webstream the meetings of the Board of Public Works, State Board of Elections, Interagency Commission on School Construction, and many other agencies. WMATA/Metro need not wait to do the same.
In fact, of the five largest systems by ridership, WMATA/Metro is the only one that does not video stream its meetings online. You can read the letter here.
Maryland has been at the table with regional partners to address carbon emissions from the transportation sector, which constitutes the largest emitter in Maryland. The program being crafted is called the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI).
The talks are modeled after the successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative--cap and trade for power plants. Senator Clarence Lam and I worked with numerous colleagues to write to the Hogan Administration regarding the next stage of planning for TCI and to urge the Administration to move forward with a robust program.
The State Highway Administration has announced a $1.02 million grant from the Transportation Alternatives Program for C&O Canal National Historical Park towpath resurfacing. The District 16 Team and other legislators have supported this project for multiple years. Read more about it from the C&O Canal Trust.
Governor Hogan recently joined the Governor of Virginia to announce how cost sharing for a rebuilt and widened American Legion Bridge will be structured. The effort is part of the previously announced Public Private Partnership for two new lanes around the Beltway and north on 270 that is currently undergoing environmental review. You can read the Washington Post story on the announcement here.
- A few weeks ago we learned about a dangerous crosswalk in Bethesda that dead-ended at a construction site, so pedestrians were stuck in the middle of the road. With the assistance of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, project developer, and State Highway Administration, we got the crosswalk safely moved. You can read about the effort here.
- The Montgomery County Delegation to Annapolis will hold its Joint Priorities Hearing on Wednesday, November 20th at 7pm. The hearing is an opportunity for interested residents to present issues of concern to the legislators. More information about testifying will be available soon. The meeting will be held at the County Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville).
- The Bethesda Chevy Chase Democratic Breakfast Club will meet on Monday, December 2nd at 7:30am to hear from two environmental leaders from the Sierra Club and Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN). The meeting will be at the Original Pancake House in Downtown Bethesda.
- The Up 2 US Foundation will hold a charity basketball game on Sunday, December 8th at BCC High School at 2pm. The District 16-founded charity is devoted to reducing hunger: www.up2usfoundation.org
- There will be two nights of bill hearings on local bills (those that only affect Montgomery County) on Monday, December 2nd and Monday December 9th. The hearings begin at 7pm and will be held at the County Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville).
- On Tuesday, December 10th, I will join Delegate Brooke Lierman to speak to the Action Committee for Transit. The meeting is at 7:30pm at the Silver Sprint Transit Center.
If you know of a District 16 resident who merits recognition or condolences or an upcoming event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.