Montgomery County Director of Intergovernmental Relations on the 2013 Maryland General Assembly Session

Posted Date: 
February 12, 2013

 

MCCC President & CEO Gigi Godwin welcomed the MCCC Members and introduced the speaker, Melanie Wenger, Director, Montgomery County Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
 
Wenger began the discussion by talking about State and County revenues, including the Governor's budget and its impact on Montgomery County. She spoke about the new financial sharing and relationship between the County and Sate governments. She mentioned how the State is "out of the woods" in terms of their former $2 billion structural deficit. The governor has added funding to important tax credits like the biotech and cyber-security tax credits.
 
Wenger said that the County Executive's priorities this year we very different. She spoke about the imperative for infrastructure investment, rather than the new cost sharing relationship. She spoke about the County "asks" for this legislative session, focusing on K-12 school construction and a new building at the Universities at Shady Grove.
 
Wenger spoke about the Counties biggest and most focused priority: transportation funding. She discussed how Montgomery County cannot fund transportation on its own. She mentioned Montgomery County legislators securing several million new transportation dollars through the legislative negotiations around casino funding, including the Watkins Mill interchange.
 
So far, the Governor has not included a transportation revenue bill as a part of his legislative package. Recently, the President of the Senate introduced legislation that would begin the discussion in the legislative process. He proposal would raise $300 million through a tax on the wholesale sale of gasoline and local options for taxation. The County is concerned that the Sate obligation on transportation is too small for the Counties transportation priorities including the Purple Line and CCT.
 
MCCC members asked questions about appointing a new Maryland Secretary of Transportation, the Purple Line and CCT, and counting votes for a transportation package.
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