- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that his first priority in 2017 will be the repeal of a law that requires his office to score and rank — for public view — state-funded transportation projects, according to The Baltimore Sun.
- Hogan told the press that the Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act of 2016, which he calls the "road kill bill," would necessitate the cancelation of upcoming road projects, a claim which state legislators have said is false.
- The rule requires scoring of transportation projects based on nine criteria, such as environmental impact and access to transportation, but the governor is not bound to base funding decisions on the score.
This is the latest swipe that Hogan has taken at a bill that proponents say would more fully inform Maryland residents about what types of projects their tax dollars were funding and require an explanation as to why a lower-scoring project might selected over a higher one.
In April, Hogan vetoed the bill, prompting the Maryland Senate to override the veto. Republicans maintained that the legislation would cause inequities in project funding and cast doubt on those initiatives that have already been approved. Democrats countered that it would create efficiencies in the project selection process.
As part of his veto, Hogan called the scoring requirements "the worst kind of policy," claiming that it would lead to the neglect of and underinvestment in state assets.
Because the $5.6 billion Purple Line light rail has already been approved and was set for construction, it's doubtful that scoring that project is necessary. However, it is currently being held up in federal court while its ridership analysis gets a second look by the Federal Transit Administration. Project developers said that 25% of the line's riders were related to the Washington, DC, Metrorail rail, but U.S. District Court for DC Judge Richard Leon said rail officials did not take into account declining ridership on that system.