MD governor wants cuts in total transit dollars; highway spending would rise

| 1/27/2003

Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich's $1 billion capital budget would cut nearly $100 million from the state’s transportation budget, the Capital News Service reported Jan. 23.

The governor’s budget calls for $1.64 billion in transportation spending, which is $94 million less than last year. In addition, the cuts in transit dollars will continue for the next five years, the news service reported.

Although the budget includes no new transportation projects, highway spending would actually increase slightly over the previous year, and the budget would pay to finish such projects as the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Most of the hits were absorbed by aviation and funding for the Metro.

The governor also signaled to the state’s lawmakers during his budget presentation that he did not favor a proposed 5- to 10-cent fuel tax, saying it was not appropriate in light of the possible war with Iraq.