The WMATA-Metro Work Group has been meeting in Annapolis on an almost weekly basis during the legislative session. This past week, we met with the new General Manager of Metro, Paul Wiedefeld. Mr. Wiedefeld has a long history in Maryland, including running BWI Airport. He has an incredibly difficult job in addressing Metro's challenges. The GM wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post recently.
The GM also has listed a number of action items he is taking up on WMATA's website, many of which I view as important and excellent ideas.
One of my major roles as a Delegate is to provide oversight of state agencies. I spend a great deal of time communicating with these agencies to ensure they are carrying out their functions as intended. Here are two recent examples:
Back in January, I wrote to the State Highway Administration (SHA) regarding the storm that hit before the blizzard: SHA replied to my letter this past week and you can read the response here.
A few months ago, I wrote to the Maryland Department of the Environment regarding a plan to allow polluters of the Chesapeake Bay to trade emissions credits. Such trading schemes can be quite effective, as in the case of acid rain reduction in the northeast, but require a lot of important details and controls. You can read my letter here. One of my focuses is making sure that the process followed to establish trading observes the required legal processes that guarantee public and stakeholder involvement. An opinion from the Maryland Attorney General confirmed my review that a notice and comment rulemaking is required and I shared the opinion with the Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment. His reply to my letter can be found here.
As I have mentioned before, serving on the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee gives me an opportunity to interact with many of our state's fine institutions of higher education. Towson University recently shared with me that they have 508 alumni currently living in District 16.
I think regular readers of this newsletter know that I have my differences with the Hogan Administration and the Secretary of Transportation. But I am appreciative of the decision to move forward with the Purple Line, albeit by shifting costs to Montgomery and Prince George's Counties and making some questionable financial changes to the project. Regardless, I am happy to note that the Public Private Partnership concessionaire contract for the Purple Line has been awarded to Purple Line Transit Partners. The agreement between the state and concessionaire is publicly posted here. The agreement is for thirty years and will require staunch oversight and attention.
District 16 Notes
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.