A new Maryland task force will study ways to raise more transportation money on a regional level, and one state lawmaker wants to consider a broader metropolitan region among the possible solutions.
Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. said he hopes the task force will explore options that include more than just Maryland.
“For Montgomery County, I’m interested in looking at how will we start to lay out a future that includes not just Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, but D.C. and our Northern Virginia neighbors,” he said. “I’ve been looking for models as to how we can approach this regional authority, which we are going to need to have to make progress.”
On Saturday, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) named Madaleno among the 11 members who will serve on the task force, known as the Local and Regional Transportation Funding Task Force.
Created by the same legislation that raises the statewide gas tax, the task force will study and make recommendations on a range of options available to county and municipal governments to generate resources to fund transit service and highway projects, according to a governor’s office news release.
O’Malley’s former chief of staff, Matthew D. Gallagher, will chair the task force. Gallagher is now president and chief executive officer of The Goldseker Foundation, which provides grants to Baltimore-area nonprofits.
Madaleno (D-Dist. 18) of Kensington said he anticipates the task force will investigate practices in other states and regions to identify options in Maryland.
Transportation funding is “one of the most important things we can be working on right now,” Madaleno said. But for the area around Washington, D.C., he said the discussion needs to be broader because the region’s transportation problems are also shared by the District and Virginia.
Also named to the task force, Del. Tawanna P. Gaines expects it will focus on identifying ways to fund projects through partnership.
“I want to see as many projects as we possibly can get,” said Gaines (D-Dist. 22) of Berwyn Heights. “I want to see a lot of collaboration and a lot of partnership.”
The task force must make recommendations to O’Malley and the General Assembly by Dec. 15, according to the news release.