April 16, 2010

Maryland lawmakers kick transportation spending, tax plans down the road

They didn’t win their perennial fight to increase the gas tax, but many transportation advocates across Maryland say they were left with something just as good with the close of the General Assembly’s 2010 legislative session April 12: Hope. Both chambers of the assembly voted to support the formation of a special commission looking into alternative funding for transportation improvements in Maryland. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Rob Garagiola, D-Montgomery County, is an acknowledgement the state has failed to set aside enough money to spend on road, rail and port improvements, said Donald C. Fry, CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.

The commission is scheduled to release an interim report sometime next year and to complete its study by 2012. Its findings could give more support to proposed bills that have failed in prior sessions such as increasing the state gas tax or tying future increases to the consumer price index. “We think that that’s another good step forward in recognizing that something has to be done,” Fry said. SOURCE: Baltimore Business Journal

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