Blue Ribbon Commission Members Review Report to General Assembly

Posted Date: 
December 13, 2011


From left to right: Gus Bauman, Committee Vice Chair, Lon Anderson, AAA, Gigi Godwin, MCCC President & CEO
Committee Vice-Chair Gus Bauman, Bevridge & Diamond, took attendance and welcomed the committee. He introduced Lon Anderson, Public Affairs Managing Director at AAA Mid-Atlantic.  Mr. Bauman chaired and Mr. Anderson served on the Maryland State Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC).  They discussed the final BRC report which was submitted on Nov. 1, 2011, to Governor Martin O’Malley, The Honorable Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Jr., President of the Senate, and Michael E. Busch, MD Speaker of the House.  The BRC report is available online.
The Blue Ribbon Commission report provided 23 very specific recommendations in five basic categories.  During the process, they found that there are a number of ways that Maryland could immediately start saving money.  For example, they learned that the Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) currently provides free rides to quite a few non-profit organizations, government workers, and others.  Therefore, the BRC recommends that MTA eliminate free rides and that all be required to pay to ride transit. 
One of the top recommendations is to increase the gas tax & index at wholesale levels, and allow all of the proceeds to go towards funding for transportation.   Also, $870M needs to be put back into the trust fund.
Mr. Anderson said that he still doesn’t feel that the question “how do we pay for mass transit” was answered.
The report has been submitted and all parties have acknowledged receipt.  The hope is that serious consideration is given to the BRC’s recommendations.  However, with the state being in deep economic trouble, the BRC is not confident that action will move during the 2012 legislative session.


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