A bundle of proposals to change funding for transportation awaits its final House vote today, with all observers expecting it to gain passage. The Senate has not yet taken up its own bill, but is expected to focus on the House-passed plan next week.
The House is scheduled to vote on the bill Friday. A majority vote would send the legislation to the Senate.
The House has made some changes to the proposal made by Gov. Martin O’Malley earlier this month. The measure would still raise hundreds of millions of dollars annually, but more gradually than under the governor’s plan.
The MACo Legislative Committee has adopted a broad position on transportation financing, reinforcing the importance of local roads and bridges as part of any approach to transportation funding. From MACo’s statement (in part):
MACo reinforces its longstanding commitment to a broad-based and equitable system of transportation financing. The historic distribution of Highway User Revenues, with 30% dedicated to local purposes, accomplished this policy goal without creating cross-jurisdictional competition in taxes or distributions.
House amendments remedied a modest decline in highway user funding arising from the original bill language, but did not create new growth in locally-distributed revenues.