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The Maryland League of Conservation (LCV) Voters released its legislative scorecard for the 2019 session. I am pleased to announce that I scored 100%. Moreover, one of the nine bill votes the Maryland LCV looked at was The Regional Transportation and Climate Protection Act, which I sponsored with Senator Clarence Lam.
During the 2019 legislative session, we passed legislation I authored with Senator Cheryl Kagan to require the State Board of Elections to video stream their meetings online, the State Board of Elections Transparency Act. The law went into effect on October 1st and you can now watch those meetings online here if you are interested.
The State Board of Elections Transparency Act was not the only new law to go into effect on October 1st. Here is a complete list of the new laws that have taken effect.
As I often say, being a state legislator is about more than passing bills and one of the other major roles is assisting constituents with casework. My office spends a lot of time working with the State Highway Administration and Montgomery County Department of Transportation in particular, always in close coordination with the rest of the District 16 Team (Senator Lee, Delegate Kelly, and Delegate Love) and Councilman Friedson. We recently put together an online map of current and recent transportation-related case work that you can view.
The Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) is a planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route between the Shady Grove Metro Station and Clarksburg. It has been in planning for years but the Hogan Administration has recently proposed eliminating it from the state transportation budget. I joined the entire Montgomery County Delegation in writing a letter to the the Administration to request that the project be saved. This is the third attempt by the Hogan Administration to defund the project.
In September, the state Board of Revenue Estimates released its revised revenue estimates for Fiscal Year 2020 and first estimates for Fiscal Year 2021 (the fiscal year begins July 1st in Maryland). Fiscal Year 2019 revenues came in above estimates and the next two years are tracking for moderate growth. There is a large predicted corporate tax increase which is the result of changes to the federal tax code that have an impact on state taxes. You can view the report here.
The Acadia Center recently did a short report on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiaive (RGGI) at 10 years. RGGI is our regional cap-and-trade program for power plant greenhouse gas emissions. Long before my time, the General Assembly legislated that then-Governor Ehrlich join the pact.
The key takeaways from the report: greenhouse gas emissions down, electric prices down, economic growth up, and revenue up. To reverse paraphrase a famous 1992 Al Gore statement, "everything that should be up is up and everything that should be down is down."
In 2018, the General Assembly passed legislation mandating that Maryland remain a part of this successful program absent a legislative vote to exit. Last year, we passed legislation regarding our intent to enter a similar program for emissions from the transportation sector, the most significant emitter of greenhouse gas emissions.
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