Md. General Assembly Passes Transportation Scoring System - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. General Assembly Passes Transportation Scoring System

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Maryland Legislative Hall (Photo: WBOC) Maryland Legislative Hall (Photo: WBOC)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- The Maryland General Assembly approved creating a scoring system to prioritize Maryland transportation projects Thursday, setting up a late-session showdown between the Democrat-controlled legislature and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who said he will veto the measure.
    
The House voted 83-51 for the bill, shortly after the Senate passed the measure 28-17.
    
Democrats say the bill is needed to increase transparency in the funding process by requiring the governor to explain if projects with lower scores are funded over ones with higher scores. Republicans say it would erode local input and disrupt a balance the governor has been trying to restore to transportation needs by investing in roads and bridges throughout the state.
    
Hogan said he would veto the bill during an announcement of a road-widening project near Fort Meade.
    
"It's a terrible, terrible piece of legislation," Hogan said. "It's bad politics. It's bad policy, and it doesn't make any sense."
    
The governor and Democratic lawmakers have struggled over transportation policy after Hogan decided last year not to move forward with a light rail plan in Baltimore, citing cost and flawed design as reasons. He also allocated more money for roads and bridges throughout the state.
    
The scoring system measure will reach Hogan's desk in time to require a veto while legislators are still in session. That way, they can attempt to override the veto before adjourning April 11.
    
Republicans tried to delay votes on the measure in both chambers to prevent it from reaching the governor before a Saturday deadline to require him to act on it in six days, or else let the measure become law without his signature. Democrats voted to reject the delays.
    
Both houses would need a three-fifths majority to override the veto. That's 85 votes in the House and 29 in the Senate. Two Senate Democrats were absent Thursday, as were six House Democrats.

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