Sunday, February 22 2009 @ 08:07 AM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
Cardin Annapolis Reports
Delegate Jon S. Cardin District 11, Baltimore County
On February 13th Congress passed the $789 billion Economic Recovery Act. For numerous reasons, including our proximity to Washington and the numerous federal agencies and military installations located here, Maryland stands to receive a significant influx of capital and programming money. I expect to see road and bridge projects ($600 million), Medicaid stipends ($1.2 billion), education ($1 billion), and renewable energy jobs among others growing in our state because of this important federal initiative.
We will receive nearly $3.8 billion over three fiscal years. While this is an incredible amount of money, much of the funding is based on federal formulas or block grants and will not be part of the state's general fund budget. This will require us to be careful and creative when using these funds, with an eye towards using the money to sustain ongoing concerns, not creating new programs.
[Unless we change MDOT policy bicyclists will NOT be getting their fair share of this.]
This is the fourth year for HB 496 - my bicycle safety bill - a law that would require a safe three-foot bubble around a cyclist when being passed by a car. Whether in a car or on a bike, this is a common-sense rule which would keep all parties from mishaps. A little bit of patience and attentiveness goes a long way in avoiding accidents. The hearings in the House and Senate went well, and now I encourage all of you bike enthusiasts to remind your legislators to pass this nationally recognized and effective safety effort.