The Committee for Montgomery’s annual legislative breakfast will attract a number of big shots in state politics to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Rd.) tomorrow morning.
The event traditionally kicks off local advocacy efforts for the upcoming Maryland General Assembly and perhaps no issue will be more important to county leaders than transportation funding.
At a “Transportation Summit” on Wednesday in Annapolis organized by Montgomery County leaders, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and Councilmembers George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park and Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) pushed for a raise in the gas tax to pay for projects such as the unfunded Purple Line light rail.
In the past, leaders from Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore Counties have found it difficult to rally support for a higher gas tax from other parts of the state. Leventhal said the 2013 legislative session seems like the best time to enact the hike with an election coming up in 2014, according to WAMU.
Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch will speak at the breakfast tomorrow, which starts at 7 a.m. Sen. Ben Cardin (D), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D), Leggett and County Council President Nancy Navarro (D-East County, Mid-County) will be featured speakers as well.
The Committee for Montgomery is a coalition of leaders including county businesses, labor groups, civic associations and other community-based organizations. Its goals for the legislative session include an increase in the state gas tax. (The rest of its goals are in PDF format below.)
The Committee must get 85 percent of its 40 board members, from a wide range of backgrounds, to agree on priority areas, said spokesperson Barbara Henry.
“It’s a really diverse group of people on the Board, so it’s really interesting for us to get agreement on something between labor leaders, business organizations, civic organizations and everyone else involved,” Henry said.