Bill Limiting Eastern Shore Input on New Bay Crossing is Dead - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Bill Limiting Eastern Shore Input on New Bay Crossing Dead

Posted: Mar 09, 2018 4:24 PM Updated:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Like House Committee Room 250 in Annapolis, House Bill 560, eliminating the Eastern Shore counties' veto power over building another Bay crossing, is now running empty.

Earlier this week, the Environment and Transportation Committee unanimously voted down the bill after a hearing, deeming it unfavorable.

"It was fun. It was a great hearing," said Committee member and Eastern Shore Delegate, Carl Anderton.

Anderton adds it's a bill he could do without.

"I'm not really sure of the intent, but whatever the intent was, we don't have to worry about it anymore," Anderton said.

But Delegate Michael Malone of Anne Arundel County, who sponsored the House version of the bill, argues it could save taxpayer money and hassle.

"To me, as common sense sort of suggests, I am trying to be fiscally wise. Why are we going to spend millions and millions of dollars, if possibly, there's going to be a veto?" Malone said.

Malone also says increasing traffic on the current bridge worries him. Another bridge, he says, must be built soon.

The bill could have helped with making another bridge a reality, according to Malone.

"I think we need to be having the discussion now," Malone said.

Eastern Shore Delegate Jay Jacobs says he agrees with Malone - traffic is getting worse. But, Jacobs argues, limiting the Eastern Shore's voice on the matter won't help.

"I think the Shore is significant and the rights of those people are equal to anyone else in Maryland," Jacobs said.

Malone says that's fair.

"I'm open to options," Malone said.


Delegate Jacobs also has his own bill, House Bill 1199, that does nearly the exact opposite of House Bill 560. Jacobs' bill would completely remove Kent County from any future consideration of building another Bay crossing. Delegate Jacobs says he's not sure how the bill will do but has hope it will pass.

 

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