Transportation Commission to Meet June 13

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding is scheduled to meet on June 13 from 2 pm to 5 pm in Rooms 1 and 2 of the Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis.  Based on comments from the prior May 10  meeting, the Commission will discuss value capture, public- private partnerships, and investment pricing.  However, the meeting agenda is not available on the website at this time. It is anticipated that the next meeting…

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Sun Editorial: Gas Tax Better Than Other Revenue Alternatives

A Baltimore Sun opinion piece reacts to recent comments by legislators in opposition to increasing the gas tax and argues that the gas tax is the best approach when considering other revenue alternatives. What's maddening about lawmakers and their kneejerk reaction to the 10-cent tax is that the alternatives for reviving the depleted trust fund are even less appealing. Raise fees? Already been done. Car registration and titling? Ditto. The corporate tax has already been…

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Transportation Funding “Still in Crisis”

In an opinion piece for Center Maryland, Don Fry, President and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, writes that Maryland's Transportation Trust Fund still faces a significant funding shortfall and that there is no consensus among political leaders to address it. The START coalition, which includes more than 60 organizations and businesses from across Maryland, is seeking three basic things from lawmakers – increase revenue for transportation infrastructure by at least $500 million per year,…

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Opinions of Transportation Funding Initiatives Vary

As previously reported, the Governor is seeking support from the business community for increased transportation funding.  However, opinions vary as to whether such initiatives should be enacted, and if they are, when the discussion should take place, during a special session this fall, or during the 2012 General Assembly session. From an opinion piece in the Annapolis Capital: We can't endorse a gas tax increase. It would be a regressive measure putting the same extra…

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Governor O’Malley Seeks Business Community Support for Increased Transportation Funding

During the Maryland Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting, Governor O'Malley asked the membership to support increased funding for transportation infrastructure.  The Governor's comments were very similar to those given during a round table discussion that was held last week. As reported by the Baltimore Business Journal: O'Malley stressed the importance of investing more state money in roads and transit projects, but he also emphasized that the solution will have to be more diverse than simply…

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End of Session Update: Transportation and Public Works

A previous post provided the status of various employee benefit and relation bills that MACo took a position on. Now that the dust has settled, this post provides the final status of these bills. Unauthorized Signs on Highway Rights-of-Way:  HB 289/SB 410 would authorize removal of improperly placed signs on highway rights-of-way by state or local authorities, and authorize a civil action to recover costs of their removal or disposal.  MACo supported the bill because…

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“Last Day” Issues Wrap Up

As reported yesterday by MACo, a number of issues with county effect remained in play prior to the midnight deadline for the General Assembly session.  Below is an overview of how each of those bills ultimately played out: Maintenance of Effort – As reported yesterday, three bills were awaiting  final action. MACo supported HB 44 and SB 53 as a legislative initiative, to expand and balance the process for considering county MOE waiver requests —and…

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Session Update: Transportation and Public Works

This post summarizes the status of various transportation and public works bills that MACo took a position on. Unauthorized Signs on Highway Rights-of-Way:  HB 289/SB 410 would authorize removal of improperly placed signs on highway rights-of-way by state or local authorities, and authorize a civil action to recover costs of their removal or disposal.  MACo supported the bill because it would assist in the beautification of public roadways and provide reasonable authority for state and local…

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Senate Budget Committee Approves Budget Plan: Rejects Pension Shift, Agrees To One-Time Funding for Local Roads

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee approved its plan to modify the Governor's 2012 proposed budget, concurring with a large number of the actions taken by the House.  As a part of their plan, the Senate Committee concurred with the House to restore funding for education, rejected a Department of Legislative Services (DLS) recommendation to transfer 50 percent of teacher retirement expenses to the local boards of education, and concurred with a one-time payment of…

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Radio Show Focuses on “Crumbling Infrastructure”

Tuesday's edition of the Diane Rehm Show, available on a variety of public radio stations in the area, will discuss infrastructure funding -- prompted by the ongoing federal budget debate, cutbacks in state and local budgets, and the recent devastation in Japan. According to the show's website: The crisis in Japan is prompting new questions about long simmering issues here at home, and among them, our country’s deteriorating infrastructure. For years our bridges, dams, water…

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