Thank you again to the voters of District 16 for re-nominating me--as well as my teammates Senator Susan Lee, Delegate Ariana Kelly, and Delegate Sara Love--for another term during the June primary. I appreciate the support and confidence.
Even in an election year, the legislative process continues. The Montgomery County Delegation's annual fall meetings have been scheduled. These meetings include a presentation by the state Department of Transportation, a priorities hearing at which any County resident can tell us what they care about, and two nights of hearings on any local (Montgomery County only) bills that are introduced. More information is on the calendar page of the Delegation's website.
As always, you can keep up with what I am doing by following me at @mkorman on Twitter or Delegate Marc Korman on Facebook. And you can support my political work by contributing here.
The Department of Legislate Services has released its quadrennial Major Issues Review describing the General Assembly's work over the four year term.
Four years is a long time and there are many highlights from an impactful term like the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the Built to Learn Act, the Climate Solutions Now Act, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and so much more.
I am pleased to have been named a "Green Champion" by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and for scoring 100% on this year's legislative scorecard. You can read what issues and bills they scored legislators on here.
The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates is an important but under-known part of state government that tracks how our economy is doing and it’s impact on the state budget.
Thanks to legislation I cosponsored in 2021, it now has its own website at https://www.mdbre.gov/
The 2021 bill also reformed BRE’s hiring process and makes it more transparent with posted reports and a regular meeting schedule.
There has been a lot in the news lately regarding the federally led environmental review of the Governor's proposed private toll road expansion on I-495 and I-270. I joined a group of lawmakers from Montgomery County that requested the Federal Highway Administration extend the time to review the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which is available here.
Governor Hogan issued a press release attacking the federal government for not rubber stamping the environmental review of his private toll road widening project. Buried in the press release, Governor Hogan also conceded he would be asking those same federal officials for money:
"As a result, I have directed state transportation officials to initiate the process of applying for a federal bridge grant to mitigate these federally-driven cost increases."
The Governor tries to explain it is the federal government's fault he needs a taxpayer subsidy for his supposedly tax-free project, but this is a distortion of reality. Almost every road way Public Private Partnership (P3) in the United States has required taxpayer contributions.
Do not take the word of a project skeptic like me. Take the word of project supporters at the Reason Foundation who in a review of all road way P3s found the following:
"All but two of the 17 projects involved some investment by the state DOT, in addition to the private sector’s investment of equity and its legal obligation to pay off revenue bonds." (Source)
It is also interesting to note that the consortium tasked with building the project does not have a construction partner to actually do the work at this time.
I am a supporter (and rider) of transit and recognize its traffic, economic and environmental benefits. But its challenges are real.
I recently spoke to a streaming news service called Newsy about some of the national challenges facing transit. You can watch the segment here.
Closer to home, I spoke to Governing Magazine about some of the particular shortcomings of our regional Metro system.
The state has issued its draft State Rail Plan. As a leader in the Maryland Transit Caucus, I helped draft our comments, which you can review online as well.
With the new construction contractor for the Purple Line in place, I joined with the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee to call on Maryland to abide by its statements that the project would include a Project Labor Agreement. Our letter is here.
As the construction contractor steps in, work will ramp up on the corridor. One recent announcement was that a lane of auto traffic and the sidewalk on 355 between Elm and Hampden will be closed. Although the public notice referenced the need for vehicles to access the construction site, the need for the closure is more complicated than this and includes building a temporary structure to support a crane. I have met with the contractor to discuss potential mitigation and to understand if this long-term closure is truly necessary.
We placed a requirement in the budget that the Maryland Transit Administration submit a report every other month on project process. You can read the first bimonthly report here.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.