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Baltimore County News

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Keyword: transportation

By Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore County Executive

For 90 days in Annapolis, we fought hard, testified at hearings, and made our case for Baltimore County. We secured a total of $942 million in State funding for education, health, public safety, transportation, school construction, road and infrastructure projects in our County. We fought for new laws to protect victims of sexual assault, combat skyrocketing drug prices, overhaul the cash bail system, grow our craft brewing industry, and protect the Bay by extending Maryland’s fracking ban. With strong support and advocacy from Baltimore County’s State delegates and senators, we brought it home from Annapolis.

State funding for County priorities

Baltimore County secured $841 million in State aid for education, libraries, the Community College of Baltimore County, health, public safety, recreation and open space. 

Why it matters  As Maryland’s third largest jurisdiction with a growing population, Baltimore County residents deserve their fair share of State funding. State and County funds protect and improve our quality of life, from 21st century libraries and community college to parks and open space for our neighborhoods. 

State funding for school construction

Secured $48.3 million in State matching funds toward public school construction. 

Why it matters  The County’s $1.3 billion Schools for Our Future school construction program will eliminate overcrowding, modernize facilities and add air conditioning. The ten-year initiative, the largest single school construction program in Maryland, is building 16 new schools, 12 additions, and 7 major renovations.

Easing traffic congestion to support job growth

Delivered $50 million in State funding for transportation projects in Owings Mills, Sparrows Point, White Marsh and around the beltway.  

Why it matters  Most of the Baltimore beltway is in Baltimore County. Funding beltway widening is critical to ease traffic congestion, especially during commuter rush hours. Other projects in key employment areas include the Dolfield Avenue interchange on I-795, widening Philadelphia Road from Mohrs Lane to Campbell Boulevard, and bus routes and bridge repair at Sparrows Point.

Supporting local breweries

Maryland craft brewers can now sell more beer at their production taprooms. 

Why it matters The new law opens opportunities for Baltimore County brewers Heavy Seas, Key Brewing, Du Claw and White Marsh Brewing Company. Coming soon: a new $50 million Guinness innovation brewery in Relay, bringing 70 jobs and a major tourist attraction for Baltimore County.

Combating high drug prices

The County supported a new law that allows the Maryland attorney general to sue drug companies when prices of generic drugs soar dramatically.

Why it matters We all pay when drug companies drive up their prices. Baltimore County insures thousands of local government workers.

Protect victims of sexual assault

“No means no.” We fought for a law that simplifies the definition of rape and sexual assault. Police departments now must store rape kits for 20 years.

Why it matters This new law puts the focus on the actions of the person accused of assault, not the victim, and preserves evidence for police and prosecutors during investigations. 

Overhauling the cash bail system

Supported a new State law that overhauls the cash-based bail system for defendants awaiting trial. 

Why it matters Defendants should not be penalized just because they can’t afford cash bail. The issues for a judge should be whether the defendant is a threat to the community and can be relied on to return to court.

Baltimore County does not operate in a vacuum. Policy and funding decisions at the State level have direct and often lasting impact on everyone living and working here. We will continue to fight for the resources that Baltimore County residents need and deserve. 

Protecting the Chesapeake

Supported extension of Maryland’s fracking ban.   

Why it matters Protecting the Chesapeake Bay and our water supply is fundamental.   

Baltimore County does not operate in a vacuum. Policy and funding decisions at the State level have direct and often lasting impact on everyone living and working here. We will continue to fight for the resources that Baltimore County residents need and deserve. 


Says Governor is not factually correct

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz responded to a form letter that he received last week threatening the completion of transportation projects in the County. The full text of the County Executive’s response is below:

Dear Governor Hogan,

I am in receipt of your form letter of February 2, 2017, seeking support of a repeal of the Maryland Open Transportation Investment Act.  Your attachment asserts that the Act will result in the cancellation of six transportation projects in Baltimore County, five of which involve major improvements to the Baltimore Beltway.  I am dismayed that you continue to assert a position that is not factually correct.

As you are aware, the plain language of the Act states:  "nothing in this Act may be construed to prohibit or prevent the funding of the capital transportation priorities in each jurisdiction."  The law simply requires the Governor to provide an advisory scoring process, letting the public understand how decisions are made when road projects are funded. The law even allowed your office to create the scoring mechanism. 

I've previously requested that your Administration provide the data behind your scoring calculations. Since you still refuse to provide that data, I can only assume that the "scores" are simply a scare tactic.  I urge you to inform us of the real reasons why you believe there would be a shortfall of transportation funds to complete the needed Beltway improvements.   In the meantime, my constituents still remain stuck in traffic.  

Very truly yours,

Kevin Kamenetz

Baltimore County Executive

 

c:        Honorable Michael E. Busch, Speaker of the House

           Honorable Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., Senate President


School construction and transportation funding top the list

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz unveiled a wide-ranging agenda for the upcoming 2017 General Assembly session that begins this Wednesday. “Funding of school construction and transportation projects remain an important priority for the county,” said Kamenetz. “In addition, I look forward to working with legislators on several statewide issues such as sexual assault, fracking, and bail reform that have implications for Baltimore County but also the rest of the state.”


 
 
Revised September 26, 2016