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.
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!
I am very active on social media. Consider staying in touch with me via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please check my website for information about internships, Senatorial Scholarships, helpful links, and more. Thanks for reading and for being an engaged Marylander!
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)