House Subcommittee Votes To Save Highway User Revenues

Today the House Appropriations Transportation and the Environment Subcommittee voted unanimously to reject a staff recommendation to flat fund highway user revenues. Subcommittee Chair Tawanna Gaines indicated that the local governments had “suffered” from highway user cuts long enough. Delegate Carol Krimm suggested that all subcommittee members had heard from their local jurisdictions about how important highway user revenue restoration was for them. And, longtime highway user revenue supporter Delegate Wendell Beitzel expressed similarly supportive sentiments.

The Department of Legislative Services (DLS) had recommended that the General Assembly eliminate the extra “capital grants” provided in the Governor’s proposed budget, to be distributed to local roads and bridges. DLS had recommended only funding the limited extra amount required to maintain current funding levels, and proposed diverting those funds to fill gaps in the General Fund supporting the Maryland State Police.

The DLS analysis of the Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary included these recommended reductions:

Baltimore City funding reduced from 5,484,423 to 2,000,000
County Governments reduced from 27,422,115 to 4,000,000
Municipal Governments reduced from 20,109,551 to 19,000,000

The Subcommittee rejected those cuts at its decision meeting today.