Sen. Hough Wants Transportation Funding Bill Repealed

He says it’s hurting Frederick County.

Frederick, Md (KM)  It’s already on the books, but some Maryland Legislators want to repeal it. That’s a transportation funding law passed last year which scores road projects based on such benefits as decreasing traffic and promoting economic development. Opponents say it hurt rural areas in favor of urban and suburban areas.

The bill was approved  by the General Assembly, which is majority Democrat. It was vetoed by the Governor, whose a Republican. But legislators overrode the veto. “They were tying the Governor’s hands as far as what he could do with transportation funding, and forcing him to basically spend more money on mass transit and less on roads,” says Frederick County State Senator Michael Hough (R), who wants to see this law repealed.

He says it hurts communities such as Frederick County. “Obviously, we don’t have light rail and Metro and things like that. Our transportation dollars need to go to roads to fix our congestion,” says Hough. “I think that’s going to be a fight this season that we want to free up money for roads. We want to overturn that bad legislation.”

He says some Frederick County road projects are in danger. “There’s some work going to be done on Route 26. There’s a lot of traffic up there. There’s some work off of Route 70. There are six different projects that are in danger right now because of this legislation,” says Hough.

“A lot of lawmakers from the counties are starting to put pressure on the legislature, basically saying ‘hey, we had all these projects that we thought were going to forward and that are now going to be canceled because of this partisan bill that you guys passed, the Democrats, to take a swipe at a Republican Governor to take away his power,'” says Hough.

In a previous interview with WFMD News, Delegate Karen Lewis Young said she was “perplexed” at the Governor’s stance on this bill. She said if the state’s chief executive doesn’t like the choices that are made through this scoring process, he can object and say he wants some other projects funded. And if he states the reasons why, Young says, that’s his prerogative.

The 2017 Maryland General Assembly begins its 90-day session on Wednesday, January 11th.


By Kevin McManus