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Roads Funding Issue Raised At MACO

August 17th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

 Republican Larry Hogan pledged Saturday that if he's elected governor, he would fully restore money to local governments to fix roads in his first budget, while Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said he would work with counties to develop a new formula for local highway user funds. 





Brown and Hogan spoke Saturday at the summer conference of the Maryland Association of Counties in Ocean City. They appeared separately on stage to take questions that were given to a moderator by officials from the nonprofit group that advocates for county issues in state government. 





The cuts to local highway user revenues, which once added up to roughly $350 million a year, have been a sore point between the state and local governments. The money was tapped by Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration to help balance the budget during the recession and its aftermath. 





"The incumbent administration has balanced their bloated budgets on the backs of local governments, small businesses and struggling Maryland families," Hogan said. 





Brown, a Democrat, said he would be committed to restoring the money and developing a sustainable formula to make sure counties could maintain a network of roads. 





"That's an important responsibility, and we cannot each and every year come to Annapolis and discard the formula," Brown said. 





The candidates also were asked about how they planned to improve the state's economy. Hogan focused many of his comments on criticizing O'Malley's fiscal policies. He says tax increases have made Maryland unattractive to business development. 

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