Round-up of Proposed Legislation Concerning Hogan's I-270 / I-495 Plans

Issue Background:

Governor Hogan announced a public-private partnership (P3) in September 2017 to address congestion on I-270 and I-495. The proposed P3 Program would include developments on over 70 miles of I-495 and I-270 in Maryland; some of the options include widening I-270 by as many as four lanes.

In addition to putting homes and neighborhoods at risk, the transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Maryland passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2016 to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 25% from 2006 levels by 2020 and by 40% from 2006 levels by 2030. To comply with this regulation, a bill is being proposed that would require a greenhouse gas emissions study for every major highway project in the State.

Support Pending Bills to Protect Our Homes and Neighborhoods from Governor Hogan’s Highway Plan. Contact your Maryland legislators (each of us are represented by 3 Delegates and 1 Senator) and urge them to support the following bills:

 HB-102: “Toll Roads, Highways, and Bridges – County Government Consent Requirement - Expansion”. Delegate Brooke Lierman (District 46, Baltimore City) introduced HB-102 on January 18, 2019 along with 21 co-sponsors from 7 counties. The bill would expand to all counties in the State a prohibition on State agencies constructing a toll road, highway, or bridge without the consent of a majority of the affected counties. This would give Montgomery County residents more of a say about Hogan’s plan. The bill is currently in the House Environment and Transportation Committee for a first reading.

HB-91: “Public-Private Partnerships – Presentation Reports – Environmental Impact Statement Requirement”. HB-91 was sponsored by Delegates Al Carr (District 18, Montgomery County) and Marc Korman, (District 16, Montgomery County). The bill was prompted because the Hogan administration is attempting to rush the I-270/I-495 schedule by getting approval to solicit bids on the project even before the environmental review is complete, which means lawmakers would essentially be allowing a $9 to $11 billion check to be written without knowing what they are getting. If adopted, the Hogan administration would have to complete the process of weighing all 15 alternatives for the project before resubmitting the pre-solicitation report.

This bill would apply to all P3 projects, including the current highway proposal and any that come after. The House Appropriations and Environment Committee and the House Transportation Committee meeting held a joint hearing on the bill on January 22, 2019. The bill will now go before the full House of Delegates. If it passes, it will be sent to a Senate committee and then to the full Senate. It will then go to Governor Hogan to sign. If he vetoes it, the bill will go back to the full Legislature, where if there are enough votes, the veto will be overridden.

Additional bills in development:

Vaughn Stewart bill: “Transportation Climate Accountability Act of 2019” 

Delegate Vaughn Stewart (District 19, Montgomery County) plans to sponsor a bill that would require the State to clearly and explicitly measure the greenhouse gas emissions, other air pollution, and impact on water quality that would result from proposed large transportation project investments. Read more.

Sara Love bill 

Delegate Sara Love (District 16, Montgomery County) plans to introduce a bill that would codify Governor Hogan’s promise to protect homes.  It’s modeled after a law that was passed to protect homes during the Red Line expansion.