Sen. Garagiola Previews Special Session 2011

Posted Date: 
July 15, 2011

Senator Rob Garagiola addresses the Legislative Affairs Committee

Legislative Committee Co-Chair Josh Bokee, Director of Government Affairs for Comcast, led a discussion on the October special session with State Senator Rob Garagiola. Garagiola, who currently serves as the Majority Leader in the Senate, discussed the issues that would be addressed in the October legislative session, which will convene primarily to ratify the Congressional redistricting plan.

Senator Garagiola discussed the possibility of other issues being considered in October. Among the issues that are being considered include increasing resources to the state’s transportation trust fund. Senator Garagiola has demonstrated his leadership on transportation issues in the past. For example, in the immediate past legislative session he sponsored legislation to create a transportation trust fund that could only be used for transportation purposes, except in very specific and extreme cases. In the past, the transportation trust fund has been depleted to cover state budget gaps. Last session,the Chamber supported Senator Garagiola’s legislation.

In today’s meeting, Garagiola re-affirmed his support for an increase in the gas tax for transportation priorities and discussed how transportation is vital to a thriving economy. According to Senator Garagiola, our region has the worst traffic in the country and Baltimore has risen to having the number five worst traffic congestion. These issues, among others, create a compelling case for the state to address transportation funding. Garagiola also mentioned that new resources for the transportation trust fund could have an economic stimulus effect by increasing hiring to rebuild roads and transit.

Although there is a compelling case for re-investment in the transportation trust fund, Senator Garagiola acknowledged that he is uncertain whether or not the issue will be addressed in the special session, but remains hopeful that it will.

During the discussion, Senator Garagiola fielded questions from Chamber members on our County’s transportation priorities, attracting new businesses to our state, and on the legislative redistricting process. 

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