Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday delivered the keynote address at the 2017 Maryland Municipal League (MML) summer conference in Ocean City. In his remarks, the governor highlighted the administration’s efforts to fully restore Highway User Revenues for local governments, spur economic development and job creation, improve infrastructure, and address the state’s evolving heroin and opioid crisis. In addition, the governor announced two new Executive Orders; one to create an Office of Rural Broadband and another to streamline and reform waste regulations.
Governor Hogan told the group of town and city officials that his administration “won’t stop fighting until we fully restore Highway User Revenues for local governments.” For more than forty years, local governments have received at least 30 percent of these revenues to fund local roads and bridges – 83 percent of the public road mileage in Maryland. In 2010, the State reduced highway user revenues by 90 percent for most jurisdictions – and local governments have advocated for restored highway user revenues ever since.
Governor Hogan also announced an order creating an Office of Rural Broadband to promote high-speed Internet connections throughout Maryland. Hogan said he will appoint a director to oversee those efforts and to collaborate with state agencies and local governments to develop a plan for statewide access.
Governor Hogan said the office will work with the Rural Maryland Council created by the Connecting Rural Maryland Act, which the General Assembly passed this year and Hogan signed a few weeks ago.
Additionally, the Governor said that he has canceled “zero-waste” landfill rules issued by Governor Martin O’Malley. Hogan said his order lifts a moratorium on permits for new landfills and sets “achievable” goals for recycling.
The annual MML Summer Conference was held June 25-28 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. Click here for more information.