Hogan’s Top Priority: Repeal The “Road Kill Bill”

Governor Hogan announced today, December 14, 2016 that his top legislative priority for the upcoming session is the immediate and full repeal of the Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act of 2016, otherwise known as the “Scorecard” bill, or to Governor Hogan, the “Road Kill Bill.” Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn joined the Governor in announcing the administration’s plan to submit emergency legislation to repeal the Act, which passed and became law with substantial support and over the Governor’s veto during the 2016 legislative session. Stated the Governor,

The repercussions of this law are quite simply disastrous, and I will not stop fighting on behalf of our citizens until this catastrophic bill is repealed.

MACo opposed the bill last session, and subsequently offered amendments to address concerns about ensuring equitable treatment for more rural jurisdictions. The Maryland General Assembly approved the amendments. A series of letters sent over the summer sought to transfer substantial responsibility for the law’s implementation to the counties.

In accordance with the law, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) filed draft regulations to implement the law, which were sparse in nature. On November 18 before the Maryland General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR), MACo testified alongside public works representatives from the County Engineers of Maryland and Cecil, Queen Anne’s, Prince George’s, and Harford counties that MDOT’s proposed regulations could have implemented the Act in a more reasonable manner. At the hearing, Secretary Rahn stood firm in advocating for a full-on repeal of the law.

MDOT followed up with formal comments to the regulations sent to MDOT and copied AELR.  Committee Chairs Senator Roger Manno and Delegate Samuel Rosenberg attached MACo’s comments to their letter sent to Secretary Rahn on December 6, and stated in that letter that the Committee agreed with the main points in MACo’s comments. The letter indicated that the Committee was placing the draft regulations on hold for further review. The regulations are due to become effective in February.

For more information about the Act and political debate surrounding it, search Conduit Street for the tag, “scorecard.”