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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.
The story was also covered by Maryland Matters.
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.
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