As part of his plan to get Maryland working again, Bob Ehrlich today announced that his first budget as Governor will restore 25 percent of the local transportation aid that Governor Martin O’Malley raided last year. The restoration will equal approximately $60 million and will help local governments maintain deteriorating roads, improve public safety, and strengthen Maryland’s economy. Ehrlich’s announcement comes two days after Martin O’Malley told The Frederick News-Post he couldn’t restore local transportation aid and five days after he told NPR that “there was no more room to build roads” in Maryland.
“We can’t get Maryland working again if our commuters are languishing on unsafe, deteriorating roads,” Ehrlich said. “The severity of the O’Malley Administration’s fund transfers needlessly puts commuters at risk, squanders economic productivity, and shortchanges the local governments charged with keeping our roads safe and well maintained for residents. I fully recognize the budget crisis facing our state, yet I also recognize we will not get our economy moving again with residents traveling on unsafe roads.”
As Governor, Bob Ehrlich enacted an ambitious plan that generated $247 million in new transportation funding per year and helped launch 123 new road, bridge, and transit projects statewide. The O’Malley Administration has failed to enact any similar plan in four years. According to The Gazette Newspapers, Montgomery County’s share of the highway user funds went from $39 million to $1.3 million. Prince George’s County’s share dropped from $33.5 million to $1.2 million. Frederick County’s dropped from $16.4 million to $563,000. Baltimore County’s portion plunged from $37 million to $1.2 million. St. Mary’s County’s went from $6.9 million $223,000. Baltimore City had its share cut by $66 million. Somerset County saw its transportation aid drop from $2.9 million to $96,000. SOURCE: Bob Ehrlich campaign