Recap - Montgomery County Priorities in the Upcoming 2016 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session

Posted Date: 
December 18, 2015

Guest Speaker: Melanie Wenger, Director, Office of Intergovernmental Relations, Montgomery County
Topic: Montgomery County Priorities in the Upcoming 2016 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session

December 18, 2015 Recap  

The vice-chair of the Legislative Affairs Meeting, Leslie Weber, welcomed MCCC members and introduced Melanie Wenger who has been Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations for over ten years.

Melanie began by describing how Montgomery County government shares its priorities with the delegation to the Maryland General Assembly.  There is a Road Show in the fall followed by a Priorities Hearing.  The list (which can be found here) has been consistent over the last five years.  The goal is to partner with the state on infrastructure investment, particularly with regard to transportation and school construction. 

The State appears to be modifying the way it prioritizes transportation projects in particular with a new focus on congestion relief and impact on economic development. 

Montgomery County will continue to ask for funding for additional projects, including those that have been traditionally funded by the county.

While there is a keen appreciation for the need to retain, attract, and grow business here in Montgomery County for Maryland to stay competitive, there is also the reality that Baltimore City continues to need assistance and Montgomery County will continue to contribute to that conversation.

Montgomery County does positive things that very few other local jurisdictions do. Ms. Wenger pointed to the County’s Department of Health and Human Services as one example. She believes that we need to be more aggressive about telling our story and having the state partner with us to continue to innovate and deliver services.

Fiscal responsibility is at the top of the County’s priorities list and Ms. Wenger made a point to explain that the issue of liquor control is a complicated one.

Sarah Morningstar of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations also reported on a number of good items for Montgomery County and Maryland included in the recently passed Omnibus bill including funding for the Purple Line, the National Center of Cyber Security Excellence, FBI headquarters, NIH and continuing to be included in the National Capital Region for the government’s calculation of per diem rates.

Ms. Wenger concluded by saying that the business agenda is front and center and it is a great opportunity for the business community to express needs and opportunities.

For upcoming MCCC Member Exchange Meetings, click here.

Tagged in:

MCCC Strategic Partners