This session of the Maryland General Assembly has started at a full sprint, with potential veto overrides and a host of new bills to be processed, hearings, committee meetings — and all this even before Gov. Larry Hogan presents his budget, which traditionally takes up a good portion of time.
Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38) is at the center of a few of these discussions. His proposal for an environmental impact study on a third crossing of the bay bridge had its first hearing this week, he’s weighing options in the ongoing veto override debate and he has a couple of local measures to shepherd through the process.
“I’m looking forward to a good hearing — it’s all about planning,” he said. “As the backups continue and the volume grows, the costs to maintain the bay bridge will also grow. We need a responsible plan for the future.”
Mathias’ proposal for a third bay crossing is scheduled for Wednesday. At its heart, SB56 does little but require the Maryland Transportation Authority to begin saving for an environmental impact study for a potential third crossing at a rate of the greater of $1 million or 5 percent of the total cost of the study per year. The final cost of the study isn’t known, but Mathias estimates it to cost between $30-35 million.