Numerous bill have been introduced this year to provide a “lockbox” to protect transportation funds from being transferred to the General Fund. The most recent bill, SB 441, was introduced in the Maryland Senate by Senate Rob Garagiola. As reported by MarylandReporter.com:
“In recent years, the Transportation Trust Fund has been depleted,” Garagiola, D-Montgomery, said in an e-mail. “This legislation proposes a constitutional amendment to create a firewall for current and future Transportation Trust Fund monies. It is critical that we act now to address our infrastructure needs.”
“Maryland needs to begin the process of restoring this vital funding to our counties and municipalities,” Garagiola said. “Marylanders do not distinguish importance between state and local roads. At a time when our local governments are also struggling to balance their budgets, we have taken essential funding from their own equally critical transportation projects.”
Historically, county and municipal governments got 30% of the Transportation Trust Fund revenues. The percentage shrunk to 10% over the last two years due to transfers to the general fund. The proposal keeps local governments’ share at 10% in FY2013 but increases it to 25% by FY2016.