Now that we are several weeks into the legislative session and the Governor's budget has been introduced, the pace of work in Annapolis has increased. Hearings in my committee--Appropriations--on individual state agencies and departments have begun. We also held our first bills hearing on non-budget legislation.
But the big news for me was the introduction of my first bill, HB 300. The bill requires the Maryland Department of Transportation to work with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ("WMATA") on a detailed ridership study that will tell us:
This is important because Maryland sends approximately $450 million in operating and capital funds to WMATA and we must gain a better idea of how critical the system is to the whole state and not just Montgomery and Prince George's County. I was pleased to have almost 40 co-sponsors on this bill, representing both parties and jurisdictions around the state. Thanks especially to my District 16 colleagues Delegates Bill Frick and Ariana Kelly for co-sponsoring this legislation. You can read the bill here.
In case you missed it, I was recently interviewed for Comcast Newsmakers and you can view my comments here.
A late-filed bill put in at the request of County Executive Ike Leggett would have authorized—but not required—Montgomery County to establish an Independent Transit Authority. The vote to accept the bill for late filing (a procedural vote not on the merits of the bill) was controversial, but allowed a robust public hearing last Friday. Following that hearing, County Executive Leggett withdrew the legislation. I continue to believe there is merit in the concept of an Independent Transit Authority but there is significant work to do on the details of such a proposal including ensuring adequate control and oversight of all decisions, protection for our workforce, and many other issues.
The State Highway Administration ("SHA") has announced several projects affecting our community.
District 16 Notes
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