On a less pleasant note, the federal government shutdown continues with no apparent end. The shutdown is particularly challenging for our area where there are numerous federal employees and contractors, many of which are furloughed or working without pay. Moreover, the failure of the government to function affects services for those in need and many sectors of our economy that rely on government action. The state Comptroller recently issued a report on the impact of the shutdown on our state. If you are a federal employee, one option is lunch at the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) headquarters at 10000 New Hampshire Avenue. They begin serving at noon and will offer meals at least until Friday, January 18th. Read more about it here.
The County has helpfully created a portal for those affected by the shutdown to learn about available services, which includes information about emergency assistance such as food or help with utilities. You can access it at https://montgomerycountymd.gov/mcg/fed_employee-furlough.html.
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.
As chair of the Montgomery County Delegation (the 24 Delegates who represent Montgomery County), one of the items of business I pledged to accomplish was to web stream our weekly Friday meetings, something my colleagues enthusiastically supported. To learn how to watch our meetings visit www.montgomerycountydelegation.com and scroll down. It is a work in progress and we need to improve the sound, but it is also an important step forward for transparency.
During the legislative session, interested members will once again meet to provide oversight of Metro (also known as WMATA). I have been privileged to co-chair the WMATA-Metro Work Group since being elected. Here is the planned meeting schedule for the year:
Friday, January 18th: Metro 101
Friday, February 1st: WMATA Capital Program
Friday, February 15th: WMATA Inspector General
Friday, March 1st: WMATA Stakeholder Roundtable
The meetings take place after the House floor session in Room 170.
Last week I shared the Administration's "pre-solicitation report" for the proposed public private partnership to widen I-270 and I-495. Since that time, the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) has submitted a letter with its views on the report. You can read the entire letter online.
The major takeaway from the DLS letter is that the Hogan Administration should withdraw the report until the environmental review and alternatives analysis (known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review) is complete. I have participated in two briefings regarding the proposal and you can read what I told Maryland Matters here.
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