AG on Transportation Letters: Timing and Shift are Department Policy, Not Law

The Office of the Attorney General has offered its opinion on the recent controversial process letters sent by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). In its opinion, the Department is not obligated by 2016 legislation to require the project analysis for "scoring" for this year's CTP process, and is not authorized to require the proposed shift of analytical responsibilities to county governments. The letter - issued today to House Appropriations Committee Chair Maggie McIntosh, addresses both…

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Transportation “Scoring” Process, and Controversy, Continues

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) continues to pursue the "scoring" process for major transportation projects for this year's Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) document, and has offered counties preliminary information on what projects would be funded based on preliminary Department project scoring. Counties face an August 15 deadline for submitting local information and analysis to contribute to the scoring - a deadline first announced in a July 28 letter from MDOT. Read previous coverage from…

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Chairmen Fire Back: MDOT Transfer To Counties “Never Considered”

Following the controversial letter to counties from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) requiring by August 15 substantial studies and analysis on any county-identified major transportation project, the Chairs of the General Assembly Committees passing the initiating legislation responded with their own letter. Senator Edward Kasemeyer and Delegate Maggie McIntosh, chairs of the Senate and House committees passing HB 1013, issued a joint letter today with a harsh response to the MDOT proposed shift of…

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MDOT Letter: Counties Must Do “Front End” Analysis on Major State Projects

In a letter sent to county chief elected officials (dated July 28), the Maryland Department of Transportation announced its intention to require county governments, rather than the state, to make a wide variety of analyses for proposed major transportation projects. The sudden change in policy has left county governments unclear on how to accomplish the lofty and ambitious request - especially since the lengthy list of analyses is to be received by August 15. "This…

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Howard Transportation Priorities Show Contention With Process

Howard County's recent submission of its transportation priorities to the state - an annual ritual for jurisdictions across Maryland - has attracted attention on process and priorities. The micro debate in Howard County is strongly reminiscent of the state legislative debate on HB 1013, a controversial statewide "transportation scorecard" bill that passed during the 2016 session. From coverage in the Baltimore Sun: Like other jurisdictions, the county outlines its priorities in a letter to the…

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2016 End of Session Wrap-Up: Transportation and Public Works

This post summarizes the status of Transportation and Public Works bills that MACo took a position on or considered during the 2016 General Assembly Session. Transportation Network Provider Law is Clarified: HB 3/SB 54 is an emergency bill that clarifies the new state law that passed last session regulating for-hire transportation providers such as Uber and Lyft. During implementation of this legislation, the Comptroller’s Office found the language authorizing the fee to be confusing and requested that…

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Veto Override Expected Today on Transportation Scoresheet

The House of Delegates has received the Governor's veto of HB 1013, the much-debated legislation creating a new "scoresheet" system for evaluating major stare transportation projects. Their Thursday agenda includes the vetoed bill, and the House is expected to debate and vote on a possible veto override today. Both the floor votes suggest that an override is likely, though the margins are fairly narrow. The House passed the bill with 84 votes (but a few…

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High-Profile Issue Update from The Capital-Gazette

An article in The Capital-Gazette shares a status report on several bills in the General Assembly. A couple of these pieces of legislation are of interest to county governments, including transportation, justice reinvestment, and paid sick leave. From the The Capital-Gazette, Transportation: The Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act made headlines twice last week — first for passing the Senate and then for being vetoed by Hogan just a day later. The measure, which would require the state's transportation department to…

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Transportation “Scorecard” Bill Passes – Veto Debate Ahead

HB 1013, the bill creating a new "scoring" system for major state transportation projects, passed the Senate Thursday afternoon following extended debate. The bill was then sent to the House for a concurrence - where the House approved the Senate-amended version of the bill and sent it to the Governor. The action is in time to allow an end-session legislative debate on a veto override. Governor Hogan indicated today that he intends to veto the…

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Transportation Planning Bill Amended in House

HB 1013, a far-reaching bill that creates a "scoresheet" system for major state transportation projects, has been amended in the House of Delegates. The amended bill will likely be voted on the House floor on Saturday. The amendments make several changes to the bill, including: -directing the Department of Transportation to develop the final "percentage" weightings in the various components of the scoring system -adding an additional scoring component, "Local Priorities and Planning" MACo had…

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