Governor Martin O’Malley’s comprehensive transportation funding bill, HB1515, passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 76-63. The legislation moves to the Senate, where a committee hearing is expected to be scheduled for 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 26 before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. The bill is strongly supported by the Greater Baltimore Committee.
The legislation is a consensus proposal by the governor, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller. It is the first legislative proposal in decades that would generate the magnitude of increased revenue needed to resolve Maryland’s crisis in funding transportation infrastructure.
The legislation could generate up to $3.4 billion in new revenue to the state’s transportation fund over the next five years, the governor’s office estimates.
It would allow the state to begin addressing the massive backlog of transportation projects that are planned but not funded for construction. Its provisions would also make the transportation fund more sustainable over the long term and less subject to the revenue stagnation that, for two decades, has hampered the Maryland Department of Transportation’s ability to keep up with rising construction costs.
Don Fry’s commentary, “Maryland’s Transportation Funding Crisis is Real, Not Contrived“