Support transportation bills that protect the environment

DTMG supported two transportation bills that would have helped protect the environment and our communities by strengthening planning provisions. Sadly, neither made it out of committee.

Take Action: Please call or write your senator or delegates, and if they are on one of these committees, be extra sure to contact them. You might also contact a committee chair, even if you are not in their district. If you can add something about why these bills are important to you, please do so. But remember, even a brief phone call is far superior to NO phone call! Scroll down for tips on how to call or write.

Toll Roads, Highways, and Bridges – County Government Consent Requirement (HB0102 and SB0442) – This bill will expand to all counties in Maryland the need for consent from a majority of affected counties before the state can build toll roads or toll bridges.

Status:

This bill did not receive a report by either the House Environment and Transportation Committee or the Senate Finance Committee.

Talking Points:

  • Maryland’s 9 Eastern Shore counties have had this right for many years.
  • This bill will ensure fair and equitable practices across the entire state.
  • This bill will ensure that input from affected communities is heard and increase transparency in decisions about the need for toll roads.
  • Read DTMG Testimony Here.

Transportation Climate Accountability Act of 2019 (HB0695SB0788– This bill will require the state to estimate the environmental impact of public-private partnership (P3) road projects before moving forward with the final design and selection of contractors for the projects. 

Status:

This bill did not make it our of committee in either chamber: House Environment and Transportation Committee and the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

Talking Points:

  • Large road projects, such as the proposed $11 billion Managed Lanes Study for I-270 and I-495 in Maryland, will have serious consequences for the environment, including increased greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, additional noise, and negative effects on wetlands, parks, and communities bordering the road.
  • Rather than waiting until the project is far down the road, with a final design and contractor selected, it makes sense to estimate upfront potential environmental impacts during construction, operation and maintenance of the road project and what might be required to mitigate them.
  • This bill will help Maryland meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By 40%.
  • Read DTMG Testimony Here.

What You Need To Know To Have An Impact

Understand the Legislative Process – Bills are introduced in pairs with one version (and number) for each chamber. When initially introduced to the House or Senate (first reading) they are assigned to one or more committees. The committees gather information, hold hearings, and make a recommendation (favorable, favorable with amendment(s), or unfavorable) before they are presented for a “floor” vote by the entire chamber.

Each of the Environment Bills was referred to two or three of the following committees:

FIND YOUR DELEGATES AND SENATOR HERE.

Here is a script you might want to use. It’s a phone script, but you can tailor it for emails by taking out the support questions and simply asking the Delegate/Senator for their support.

Hi, My name is _____________.  I am a member of DoTheMostGood MoCo and a constituent of (Delegate/Senator _______ ).  I live at ______________________.

I would like the Delegate/Senator to support HB0000/SB0000, [name of bill] addresses [intent or 1 sentence summary of the bill]

This bill is important to me because [your personal statement]

Will Delegate/Senator ___________ support this bill? [Yes/No/Undecided response.]

  • [Yes response]: Please thank Delegate/Senator __________ for [his][her] support.
  • [No response]: Please letDelegate/Senator __________ know that I support this bill.
  • [Undecided response]: I hopeDelegate/Senator __________ will seriously consider this bill and give it [his][her]support.

Thank you for your time.

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