Maryland General Assembly’s 90-Day Session Begins Jan. 8

Rockville’s 2020 state legislative priorities include school construction, opposition to the state taking homes or businesses as part of plans to widen Interstate 270, a noise barrier along I-270, and senior services.

Under priorities approved by the Mayor and Council on Nov. 18, and presented to the Montgomery County delegation on Nov. 20, the city will advocate for:

  • Increased school construction fund­ing from the state to address over­crowded and aging school facilities in Rockville and across the 165,000-stu­dent county school system.
  • No Rockville homes, businesses or infrastructure to be taken by the state’s proposed project to widen in­terstates 270 and 495. The Mayor and Council continue to vigorously advo­cate in support of Rockville property owners.
  • 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. The city awaits word as to whether the barrier will be funded as part of the state’s I-270 and I-495 Managed Lanes Study, or through an agreement with SHA to fund 80% of the cost.
  • Enhanced funding for senior pro­grams and services to address trans­portation and recreation needs and assist with the establishment and awareness of villages and other pro­grams to help seniors age in place. Rockville’s senior population is pro­jected to grow to 19,140, or 22% of the city’s population, by 2040.
  • The formation of an independent redistricting commission after each decennial census, with equal mem­bership from political parties and of voters not affiliated with the two major parties. The commission would recommend to the state legislature a map of congressional districts that are geographically contiguous, en­courage compactness and respect the geographic integrity of local governments.
  • Protection of the authority of a mu­nicipality to assert local control over the siting and aesthetics of small cel­lular communication infrastructure, and to impose a fee for permit review and rental of space in a municipal right of way.
  • Permanent restoration of municipal Highway User Revenue funding. Fiscal Year 2020 is the first year of a five-year funding increase included in the state budget for the aid, which is used for road maintenance and small infrastructure-improvement projects. However, the $2.7 million in aid to Rockville is just under 82% of the pre-recession amount of $3.3 million allo­cated for the city in FY 2008.

The 2020 state legislative session runs from Jan. 8-April 6 in Annapolis. For more details on these and other issues at the state level that the Mayor and Council are monitoring, see the Nov. 18 staff report or video of the discussion, or contact Linda Moran at lmoran@rockvillemd.gov or 240-314- 8115.