The legislative session is speeding by quickly. Every week brings more committee hearings, voting sessions, and floor debates. But sometimes a goal can be accomplished without passing legislation. In late January, I included information about legislation I put forth with Senator Brian Feldman regarding sidewalk closures. I was pleased that the State Highway Administration (SHA) agreed to enact the provisions of the bill administratively. Going forward, the standard SHA permit includes the following language
"If existing sidewalk must be closed as part of the permit work, the permittee is responsible for posting a sidewalk closure notice at the work site at least two weeks in advance of the closure. The above notice must specify the expected period of time during which the sidewalk will be closed, and the contact information of the permit holder and contractor."
We will continue to monitor the issue to make certain that SHA enforces this requirement. If you notice any problems, please email me.
The legislative leadership unveiled a package of bills related to transportation this week. Two in particular are of interest to our region. HB 1012 increases the income tax credit for businesses providing commuting benefits to their employees. HB 1013 establishes a scoring system to help objectively screen and rank priority transportation projects, similar to systems used in Virginia and Washington state.
Two weeks ago, I mentioned the Administration's decision to defund the biomedical sciences building that has been on the state's proposed capital budget for the Universities at Shady Grove. The Administration defunded several higher education capital projects in favor of construction of a new jail. Last week, the Administration sent a letter to the General Assembly expressing a willingness to reprogram funding for the Universities at Shady Grove project and other higher education priorities. Negotiations will continue but this letter is a good start.
One of the enjoyable parts of serving on the Appropriations Committee is the opportunity to visit with government agencies outside of hearings. Earlier this week, I was visited by TEDCO, an independent agency that facilitates the transfer and commercialization of technology into the marketplace. TEDCO provided me with an update of their work statewide, but also gave me some information about District 16, where they have assisted 18 companies, investing $1,951,046 and creating 187 jobs (a number calculated from a 2013 economic impact study).
The State Highway Administration recently sent the following message regarding potholes on state roads:
Customers may submit pothole service requests 24 hours a day online at:
Customers should include as much information regarding the pothole including the name or route number of the state road, direction in which the pothole exists and any cross streets that will help our crews quickly locate and fill the potholes. All potholes will be filled in the order received, weather and emergencies permitting.
Claims for damages directly related to potholes on state roads are handled by the Maryland State Treasurer’s Office. Customers should visit:
Additionally, customers with claims for pothole damages can contact the State Treasurer’s Office via phone at 410-260-7684. Customers should have as much information as possible when calling the Treasurer’s Office including location of the pothole, time and date of the incident and other information like a service estimate or receipt for any work performed on their vehicle directly attributable to any pothole along a state road and the name and contact number of their insurance company. Any and all next steps regarding a submission of claims for damages will be taken by the Treasurer’s Office after due diligence is performed.
District 16 Notes
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