Tag: transportation trust fund

State Roundup, February 13, 2020

County, city leaders urge General Assembly to provide more funding for balanced transportation spending statewide; transit panel hears testimony on bill to ban state from acquiring residential property for toll lanes for I-270, I-495; Darryll Pines, longtime engineering dean, is named new president of University of Maryland, replacing Wallace Loh; advocates push to update state’s 50-year-old open records laws; some minors would be allowed to get vaccines without parental consent; bill would reinstate capital punishment for mass murder; on a tip, state auditors question grant to buy country club/golf course with opioid funds; and resolution to set up panel to rename Western Maryland mountain.

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Transportation fund ‘lockbox’ sent to voters

Voters next year will be asked to approve a constitutional amendment creating a “lockbox” to prevent raids on the Transportation Trust Fund for other purposes, but Republican opponents said the measure was a sham that would provide little protection. The measure provides that money can only be taken out of the Transportation Trust Fund after a three-fifths vote of both houses of the Maryland General Assembly once the governor has declared a state of “fiscal emergency.”

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Gas tax bill approved by Senate committee

A controversial gas tax hike already passed by the House of Delegates was approved by a Senate committee Thursday, moving it one step closer to becoming law. The committee also approved a constitutional amendment requiring three-fifths votes in both houses to use transportation money for other purposes, a so-called lockbox.

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House approves gas tax hike of 10 cents per gallon or more

The intensely debated gas tax hike electrified the house floor on Friday moving many delegates to speak who “hadn’t planned on standing up.” The two hour debate, culminated in a hotly disputed vote, ultimately passing 76 votes to 63.

HB 1515 raises Maryland’s gas tax by at least 10 cents per gallon or more over the next two years, indexing it to inflation, with aims to fund mass transit projects and highway improvements.

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House of Delegates rejects proposal to return $1 billion taken from highway funds

During floor debate over the state budget, the Maryland House of Delegates rejected an amendment that would restore $1.1 billion in funds that had been taken from highway user revenues to pay the state’s bills during budget shortfalls since 2003. Del. Susan Krebs, R- Carroll, who introduced the amendment, argued Wednesday that the state had an obligation to restore these highway revenues before asking motorists to pay additional tolls and gas taxes.

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O’Malley says he’s delivered on some goals, but not energy and transportation

A lot of the reporters wanted to talk about guns at Tuesday’s roundtable with Gov. Martin O’Malley, and the governor did speak in general terms about the need for more gun control and mental health services. But what O’Malley really wanted to talk about was how his administration measured up to the 15 broad goals that are tracked by the governor’s “delivery unit.” Maryland did show broad progress on most of the goals since O’Malley took office, and some of the targets had already been met .

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Lockdown for transportation trust fund examined, questioned

A constitutional amendment that would lock down the money in the transportation trust fund was supported by lawmakers, local officials, business people and petroleum lobbyists – but financial analysts and some delegates questioned why such a measure is needed.

The bill, proposed in the House by Del. Susan Krebs, was debated in front of the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday afternoon. Krebs, a Carroll County Republican, said that there are myriad transportation needs in the state, and not always enough money to make them happen. Proceeds of the transportation trust fund, which was created in 1971, are meant to be spent solely on transit needs.

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Commission recommends transportation fund lockdown, increasing revenues by $800M

The best way to improve Maryland’s transportation system is to lock down the transportation trust fund, and start raising $800 million per year in new funds to maintain infrastructure, a state transportation committee is recommending to the governor and General Assembly.

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding put the final touches on its report Monday.

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