The Greater Baltimore Committee has launched a month-long television advertorial campaign on Comcast to alert Marylanders to the need to increase funding for new highways, transit, port and airport facilities by at least $600 million per year.
GBC ads began airing on October 12 and will run through November 7 on eight networks that are broadcast to Comcast customers. The campaign airs as Maryland lawmakers prepare for a special General Assembly session scheduled to convene on Oct. 29 to address fiscal issues, including a $1.7 billion General Fund operating deficit and the state’s transportation funding challenges.
The GBC’s 30-second spots call attention to the inability of the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, which is separate from the General Fund, to pay for new projects to address the dramatic increases in traffic, airport use, and port cargo over the last 15 years.
Governor Martin O’Malley’s fiscal plan would increase transportation revenue by approximately $400 million per year. GBC leaders contend at least $200 million more per year is needed to adequately address a $40 – 60 billion backlog of highway, transit and other transportation projects that are planned but not yet funded for construction.
“Transportation funding may be the biggest economic growth challenge facing Maryland in the next decade and it must be a top priority in the State House,” said GBC President and CEO Donald C. Fry. “Lawmakers must not allow this critically important issue to get lost amid the scramble to close the state’s operating deficit.”
The GBC spots point viewers to a GBC-created Web site, www.keepmarylandmoving.com. The site contains information about the Transportation Trust Fund and posts frequently asked questions about Maryland’s transportation funding crisis. It includes a section enabling users to easily contact state legislators about the issue.