During the House Appropriations’ Transportation and the Environment Subcommittee decision meeting on March 18, Subcommittee leaders expressed an interest in advancing the $10 million in county pothole repair funding (as proposed by the Senate last week as part of its budget plan) — in an attempt to make those funds available this spring, responding to the dire consequences of a harsh winter on local roadways.
The Subcommittee Chair, Delegate Tawanna Gaines, referenced correspondence from Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Smith, which indicated that advancing the funding into the current year could be accomplished internally, without requiring formal legislation beyond the restricted appropriation passed by the Senate. The House Appropriations Committee will be taking formal actions on its own budget proposals on Friday, March 21 — and its decisions could include refinement of the Senate language, or some acknowledgement of an understanding with the Department.
One possible means (and probably the most secure and clear option) to provide more immediate funding would be for the funds to be included in a supplemental budget (which would have to be submitted to the General Assembly by the Governor) with a new appropriation for the Fy14 budget.
MACo will continue to follow and update this issue, and any resources becoming available to address Maryland’s “Year of the Pothole.”