Md. Lawmakers Want to Create Board to Prioritize Transportation - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Lawmakers Want to Create Board to Prioritize Transportation Projects

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Salisbury Bypass (Photo: WBOC) Salisbury Bypass (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. – Maryland Lawmakers are trying to push through several transportation bills that would put decision-making on projects into the hands of a planning board.

House Bill 1010 would establish a Maryland Transit Administration Oversight Planning Board. The board would essentially prioritize transportation projects. Another bill, Senate Bill 908 is designed to establish a scoring system for how those projects are ranked.

Both pieces of legislation are sponsored by primarily Democratic lawmakers representing  mostly urban districts. The delegates argue the need for a more organized approach to putting resources where they are most essentially needed. However, lawmakers on the Eastern Shore argue it will only help those legislators protect their districts by helping keep that funding there. Del. Carl Anderton, a Republican serving Wicomico County, worries the new pieces of legislation will potentially push projects in more rural parts of the state down the list. Anderton issued the following statement:

“Currently, the governor has the executive power to amend transportation projects. Last year Governor Hogan canceled the Red Line and used the money to help rural counties like Wicomico with the savings. The forthcoming rehabilitation of the bridges that make up the Salisbury Bypass are among the many projects that are funded by governor action. If this bill were to pass and a panel were to have the power to select which areas get funding first, projects like the Salisbury Bypass upgrade might not happen." 

Hearings on both bills are scheduled for March. 

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