June 17, 2019
Thank you for attending the District 17 Democratic Club event last week. Delegates Barve, Gilchrist, Palakovich Carr, and I enjoyed the opportunity to engage with you on a number of important issues.
There were a number of questions about the decision to potentially move forward with the I-270 portion of Governor Hogan’s highway expansion plan. We all want to reduce congestion in a way that is affordable and minimizes the impact on our environment. I am concerned about the number of unanswered questions regarding the cost of tolls; the impact on the environment; and the study and possible use of mass transit options.
Legislators are working to modify Governor Hogan’s plan and ensure that we protect our communities. I will continue to meet with key decision-makers and would be happy to pass along any creative solutions or questions; part of my role as your Senator is amplifying your voice on critical issues like this.
Below is the email I sent right after the Board of Public Works vote, in case you missed it. You can also watch my Facebook Live reaction to their June 5th decision.
Today’s Vote on I-270 & I-495
June 5, 2019
As you may know, the all-important Board of Public Works meeting was held in Annapolis this morning. This three-person board (Governor Hogan, Treasurer Kopp, and Comptroller Franchot) votes on major contracts for goods and services in our State.
Beginning at 10am and for several hours, a parade of witnesses testified about the Hogan proposal to widen I-270 and I-495. There were both proponents and opponents, both local and from around the region. The arguments for and against the Public/Private Partnership (“P3”) on this project were varied and passionately presented.
Throughout this process, your voices have mattered! In addition to the testimony presented before the BPW today, the tweets, calls, emails, meetings, and Facebook posts have had an impact.
Ultimately, the Hogan motion to approve a smaller portion of the entire plan was narrowed even further before it was approved by a 2-1 vote. Comptroller Franchot offered several amendments that were accepted. These will require a minimum of 10% of the funding reserved for mass transit; will allow buses to ride toll-free; and will require a feasibility study for the exciting new concept of a Monorail. Additionally, updates on the environmental impact will be presented to the Board for their consideration.
Where You Can Learn More:
The ultimate lesson?
ADVOCACY IS EFFECTIVE!
The initial proposal has been shrunk and slowed. You may still have concerns.
Whether it’s the cost, the environmental impact, the process, or the impact on your neighborhood, I hope you will continue to speak out!
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)