The Democratic leaders of the General Assembly unveiled a plan Tuesday that would restrict the power of the governor to make unilateral transportation funding decisions.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch threw their combined support behind legislation that would create a new process for evaluating which transportation projects deserve funding priority. While the legislative package would affect all chief executives, the move is an explicit reaction to Gov. Larry Hogan's massive shift of mass transit money to highway construction last summer.
The legislative leaders billed their legislation as a measure that would "create a new process to objectively screen and score transportation projects based on their anticipated benefits." But the measure would also require the governor to justify decisions that fall outside of that scoring system — such as the cancellation of an urban transit project to build a highway in a lightly-populated part of the state.