At their September 11, 2019 meeting, the MML Legislative Committee unanimously approved two legislative priorities to be recommended to the MML membership for adoption at the 2019 fall conference. The Committee also adopted two strategic initiatives, which do not have to be approved by the full membership.
PRIORITY: The Legislative Committee recommends the adoption of a legislative priority to request legislation to 1) eliminate the sunset on the current level of municipal Highway User Revenues that is due to occur after FY 2024 ; 2) return to full pre-recession funding of municipal Highway User Revenues beginning with the FY 2025 State budget; 3) beginning in the FY 2025 State budget, tether Highway User Revenue funding to the Consumer Protection Index (CPI) as is currently done to adjust the gas tax rate. The Legislative Committee also recommended that as part of this priority, a discussion of the impact that higher fuel efficiency and electric vehicles will have on long-term funding of the State's transportation trust fund, and specifically, on the monies that flow into the local side Highway User Revenue fund.
PRIORITY: The Legislative Committee recommends the adoption of a legislative priority to continue to protect local government authority as it relates to 5g small cell wireless facilities. Although statewide legislation to standardize the process and limit local government input with regard to siting of these facilities has failed in the General Assembly the past two years, MML must continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that 5g technology is welcomed to our municipalities in a way that ensures guidance from local officials.
STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: The Legislative Committee adopted a strategic initiative to continue to assess and identify alternative sources of municipal revenues both through the legislative process and through other opportunities as they arise.
STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: The Legislative Committee adopted a strategic initiative to open a dialogue with stakeholders involved in the annexation process in Maryland. A discussion will be held to determine whether an alternative to the existing “5 year rule” which allows a county to deny a municipal zoning change on annexed land for a period of five years can be identified and agreed upon.
The Legislative Committee also discussed at length the current speed camera law in Maryland that only allows speed cameras in school zones within one-half mile of a school (outside of Montgomery County). It was decided that MML would convene a meeting with the Maryland State Highway Administration to discuss various programs to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety in our increasingly walkable and bikeable communities.
The two recommended legislative priorities will be considered and adopted at the MML business meeting on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 8:45 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Cambridge, MD. Registration is now open for the conference on the MML website.