Cumberland Times-News


April 15, 2013


Proposal would protect Md. transportation funding

 The proposed “lockbox” to stop state officials from raiding Maryland’s Transportation Trust is not a sure-fire solution — but it probably is the best option Annapolis powerbrokers would support.

When the General Election is held in 2014, Maryland voters will be asked to decide whether to set up the lockbox to protect transportation money. In the past, the trust fund has been raided when state officials fell short of money for various state expenditures. In the meantime, road repairs and other transit needs have gone lacking.

Sponsored by Senate President Mike Miller as a companion to an increase in the gasoline tax, the measure, Senate Bill 829, provides that money can only be taken out of the Transportation Trust Fund after a three-fifths vote of both houses of the Maryland General Assembly once the governor has declared a state of “fiscal emergency.”

Although Miller and Democrat leaders believe the lockbox will keep transportation funds safe, Republicans have their doubts.  House Minority Leader Tony O’Donnell  was quoted by as saying: “Every time   we raid the Transportation Trust Fund, it meets the three-fifths vote” in both houses. Republicans also lament the lack of a definition of “fiscal emergency” and believe it still will be relatively easy to take transportation dollars from the trust fund.

While we agree that the lockbox proposal has a lot to be desired, the adage of half-a-loaf being better than nothing applies in this instance. With Democrats vastly outnumbering Republicans in both the Senate and House, there is no realistic hope that any more  than the constitutional amendment can be accomplished.

Voters should give their approval to the amendment and hope Maryland leaders are finally realizing that raiding the transportation fund has long-lasting, dire ramifications.


Text Only
  • Time to do it Time to do it

    It never made sense that criminal background checks were not made on medical license applications in Maryland. Fortunately — for the protection everybody — the background investigations may soon be a matter of routine.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Get involved Get involved

    Cumberland residents who want to make an impact on their community have an opportunity in that the city is seeking applicants for five of its boards.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story