Maryland General Assembly’s 90-Day Session Begins Jan. 13

Rockville’s 2021 state legislative priorities include education funding, opposition to the state’s plan to widen Interstate 270, a noise barrier, combating climate change, an independent congressional redistricting commission and more.

Photo of the dome of the Maryland State House in Annapolis.

The 2021 state legislative session runs from Jan. 13-April 12 in Annapolis.

Under priorities approved by the Mayor and Council on Nov. 2, the city will advocate for:

  • Increased state funding for education from birth through community college to address lagging revenues and costs related to the pandemic and overcrowded and aging public school facilities.
  • Permanent restoration of municipal Highway User Revenue funding, which is used for road maintenance and small infrastructure-improvement projects. Fiscal Year 2021 is the second year of a five-year state budget restoration of aid to a level that is approximately 85% of what it was before the 2008 recession. The state estimates Rockville will receive nearly $2.5 million in aid in FY 2021, a 36% decrease from the pre-recession amount of $3.3 million.
  • No Rockville homes, businesses or infrastructure to be taken by the state’s project to widen interstates 270 and 495. The Mayor and Council continue to vigorously advocate in support of Rockville property owners and in November sent a letter to the state calling the project “severely flawed” and saying the city “supports the only rational alternative in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act: The No-Build Alternative.”
  • The State Highway Administration to fulfill its commitment to build the West End Park Noise Barrier Project, which will protect homes north of the I-270/MD 28 interchange, and for sound walls to be erected in other impacted Rockville neighborhoods.
  • Climate change policy initiatives including, but not limited to, climate resiliency, flood plain planning and resilience, community choice aggregation for energy purchasing, electric vehicle incentives, and renewable energy.
  • Increased funding for senior transportation services, and recreation and wellness programs; aging-in-place and village initiatives; and outreach to increase awareness of these services and programs.
  • A bond bill of $200,000 for design and replacement of the Isreal Park shelter, with bathrooms and paths that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a storage room and a covered picnic area.
  • The formation of an independent, nonpartisan, redistricting commission to recommend to the state legislature a map of congressional districts that are geographically contiguous, encourage compactness, and respect the geographic integrity of local governments.

For more details, see the Nov. 2 staff report or video of the discussion, or contact Linda Moran at lmoran@rockvillemd.gov or 240-314- 8115.