‘We had to step up’: Md. Senate votes in favor of dedicated funding to Metro

WASHINGTON — Maryland’s Senate voted Friday in favor of a bill that provides dedicated funding to Metro. The vote sets aside $167 million as part of Maryland’s share in a regional agreement to fund the region’s transit system.

Maryland Sen. Nancy King said the time was right to pass a measure for dedicated funding. “With Virginia and D.C. on board, we knew we had to step up,” she said.

King credits her Montgomery County delegation colleagues, Sen. Brian Feldman and Del. Marc Korman, with helping to get the bill moving. Korman said that a number of factors pushed the bill forward.

“I think the economic interest in Metro has really driven the point home with both Marriott moving in Montgomery County and, obviously, with what’s going on with Amazon that’s helped focus the mind,” Korman said, referring to efforts to bring Amazon’s “HQ2” facility to the region. Montgomery County has popped up on the short list, and transit is among the factors in the selection, according to regional officials.

Korman said the work on the Metro bill isn’t finished. The Senate version of the bill heads back to the House “so we can concur with their changes and send it on to the governor,” Korman said.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has stated he’d support dedicated funding — as long as regional partners chipped in. Virginia’s legislature agreed to pony up $154 million; D.C.’s share would be $178 million.

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