Md. Gov. Hogan aims for repeal of ‘disastrous’ transportation law

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Calling a recently passed transportation law “disastrous,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that he is working with his administration to kill the legislation as soon as possible.

“I will not stop fighting until this catastrophic bill is repealed,” Hogan said. “It will wreak havoc on the entire transportation system”

Under the law, transportation projects must be ranked before they can receive funding from the state.

The governor and state transportation officials say, with that system, scores of projects across Maryland would be pushed down on the priority list and would not receive money. The rankings are based on several factors, such as whether a project enhances existing community assets and increases accessibility to jobs.

Of Maryland’s 73 highest-priority transportation projects, only seven would qualify for funding under the law, Hogan said. The 66 other projects would need to be canceled, including capacity improvements on the Beltway and a new interchange at Interstate 270 and Watkins Mill road.

“The vast majority of jurisdictions would immediately lose their priority projects,” Hogan said. “These are the most desperately needed transportation projects in the state.”

Hogan announced he would introduce emergency legislation that would lead to a “full and immediate repeal” of the law. It would need to be passed before Feb. 10 when the law’s regulations are set to take effect.

Hogan vetoed the bill earlier this year after it was passed by the General Assembly, but lawmakers were able to override the governor’s action.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates Michael Busch blasted Hogan’s announcement.

“Nonpartisan analysts reported last month that his promises are $1.6 billion over budget, so he needs a scapegoat to explain away his inability to deliver,” Busch said. “The people of Maryland want a transparent government where they understand how politicians are spending their money. The law requires the Governor to simply explain his spending decisions, not hide behind them.”

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