If Maryland enters a special session this summer to consider a table games casino at National Harbor, Montgomery County's local leaders want to know what, if anything, their representatives will ask for if a bill goes on the General Assembly floor.
Melanie Wenger, county director of intergovernmental relations, briefed council members Tuesday morning about the anticipated session, which could happen as early as Aug. 4.
Should a bill go before the General Assembly, Montgomery’s delegation votes could play a significant part in the outcome as Wenger estimated about 10 members remain persuadable on the casino issue.
Council President Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Bethesda said he will meet with Council Vice President Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and members of the county delegation to define a clear ask.
During the briefing, Wenger said she was under the impression that the county's ask would center on transportation, specifically an operational subsidy for the Ride On bus system.
Councilman George L. Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park questioned who decided on more Ride On subsidy.
“Ride On operating subsidy? That is all we are going to settle for?” he asked. “We’re asking for too little.”
Wenger said the county received $10 million toward Ride On in the original budget bill in the 2012 session. It did not receive full funding so it followed to ask for more, she said.
“So we are not going to ask for the gas tax? The Purple Line, the CCT [Corridor Cities Transitway] that is out the window? We are happy for a little trickle of cash for Ride On?" Leventhal asked.
Berliner asked councilmembers to meet with their aides to help define what requests each would want to see on the table.