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Dems Push For Metro Transportation Priorities

February 17th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The Democratic leaders of the General Assembly unveiled a plan Tuesday that would restrict the power of the governor to make unilateral transportation funding decisions. Senate President Mike Miller House Speaker Michael Busch threw their combined support behind legislation that would create a new process for evaluating which transportation projects deserve funding priority. While the legislative package would affect all chief executives, the move is an explicit reaction to Governor Larry Hogan's massive shift of mass transit money to highway construction last summer. The leaders billed their legislation as a measure that would "create a new process to objectively screen and score transportation projects based on their anticipated benefits."  The Democratic measure is in part a reaction to Hogan's decision to scrap the $2.9 billion Red Line light rail project in Baltimore after more than a decade of planning. The governor shifted almost $1 billion of that money into new highway projects — largely in rural areas of the state, where he won commanding majorities in the 2014 election. Busch says that transportation funds provide a larger benefit to the state as a whole if they are targeted to the metro areas of the state- as opposed to rural Maryland. He said state funding does balance out for rural Maryland in areas such as education funding…





   

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