May 23, 2012
For Immediate Release
Rosapepe, Feldman Ask O'Malley to back
“End the gridlock Constitutional Amendment,”
not just Gambling, at 2nd Special Session
With Maryland transportation investment blocked by the legislature's refusal to support hikes in the gas tax, Senator Jim Rosapepe (D, College Park) and Delegate Brian Feldman (D, Potomac) have written to Governor Martin O'Malley urging him to support their "End the gridlock constitutional amendment" at a second special session of the legislature this year.
"It's no secret that our state leads the nation in traffic congestion (Washington suburbs are #1; Baltimore region is #2). Nor is it a secret why: the combination of increased fuel efficiency, the Great Recession, and rising and fluctuating oil prices have blown a big hole in Maryland's transportation trust fund which finances investment in roads, bridges, and transit," they wrote.
Their amendment authorizes the governor and the legislature to draw up a specific plan for major public investment in roads, bridges, and transit and present the plan to the voters for approval in a subsequent referendum. The amendment would not prejudge the projects or the revenue sources. Those would be developed by the governor and the legislature, after the constitutional amendment has been passed and ratified. Specific transportation packages would be adopted by the legislature and presented to the voters for approval. The amendment would simply give the governor and the legislature the authority to present a plan to the voters (the amendment is needed because the constitution currently does not allow such referendums). It also includes a provision assuring that the funds raised in such a referendum are used only for the purposes approved by the legislature and the voters.
"A second special session this year should fight gridlock, not just expand gambling," they wrote.
"Maryland has America's best schools. We shouldn't have America's worst traffic. It's time to end the gridlock, in politics as well as on the roads."
Attached are copies of:
Updated information is available at www.EndGridlockInMD.com.
Senator Rosapepe and Delegate Feldman are Co-chairs of the legislature's Joint Technology and Biotechnology Committee.