Maryland Transportation Scoring Bill Faces Opposition From Easte - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Transportation Scoring Bill Faces Opposition From Eastern Shore Lawmakers

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Route 404 is being dualized, a project that Del. Carl Anderton says wouldn't be completed under this bill. (Photo: WBOC) Route 404 is being dualized, a project that Del. Carl Anderton says wouldn't be completed under this bill. (Photo: WBOC)

ANNAPOLIS, Md.- The Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill over the weekend that could change how transportation projects are prioritized in the state.  Eastern Shore lawmakers are worried the bill could place local projects on the back burner.

This new transportation scoring act is aimed to make the government in Annapolis a bit more transparent when it comes to selecting what transportation projects should receive funding.  The problem is, Gov. Larry Hogan and Eastern Shore lawmakers are opposed to the bill.

The bill calls for a new scoring system to determine how high or low on the priority list transportation projects should be statewide.  But the calls for support of the bill and the promise of transparency by many of the state's Democrats are being contested.

"We're facing a double whammy of still not having our local road money restored to us, and now this new formula in place puts us on the back burner with state projects," said Republican Del. Carl Anderton.

Eastern shore delegates believe the bill, if it becomes law, would prioritize Baltimore-centric projects, rather than projects in rural parts of the state.

"We're on the back of the back burner now.  We're on the counter now, we're not even on the stove, we're on the counter," said Anderton.

Some are bothered local governments will not have as much input on determining a project's priority.

"We've had many roads where people have perished.  I think those pieces are still necessary.  We can't always quantify everything, we can provide the qualitative side of things.  Let them know how these roads need to be improved because it affected someone's life," said Democratic Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes.

Hogan is also not supportive of the bill.  A statement from his office says the administration is committed to making transportation improvements based off of local communities, not pressure from Annapolis. There is no word yet on whether Hogan intends to veto the bill.

WBOC reached out to Democratic Del. Pam Beidle's office, she's the main sponsor of the bill, to see if we could sit down and talk with her about this bill.  The people in her office told us she did not have time to speak with WBOC on Monday.

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