Governor Martin O'Malley Presents 2011 Federal Priorities to Maryland's Congressional Delegation
WASHINGTON, DC (March 11, 2010) –Governor Martin O’Malley, joined by members of the Executive Cabinet, travelled to Capitol Hill today to formally present Maryland’s FY2011 federal priorities to the State’s Congressional delegation. Hosted by Senator Barbara Mikulski, who arranged the meeting, the members were presented with priorities including public health and safety projects, assistance for Maryland farmers, and investment in highway and infrastructure projects. In addition, Governor O’Malley urged support for allocating ten percent of the $30 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) fund to state small business loan guaranty programs throughout the country.
“One year after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we are here today in a unique position to capitalize on the progress we’ve made with the support of our federal partners in our Congressional Delegation,” said Governor O’Malley. “As the American economy is recovering from a global recession, the federal government plays an important role investing in important infrastructure projects, safety and health programs, and expanding access to credit for small businesses.”
“Team Maryland’s number one priority is fighting for jobs today and jobs tomorrow in our state,” Senator Mikulski said. “That means creating jobs, saving jobs and creating expanded opportunities. Team Maryland fought for jobs when it passed the economic recovery bill. We fight for jobs every time we fight for federal facilities, fight for BRAC and fight to make Maryland the Global Center of Excellence for Cyber Security. We are pleased to have the Governor with us today to tell us how we can help meet the day to day needs of Marylanders. We stand ready to help him meet our state’s greatest needs.”
The Governor highlighted specific projects for federal investment, including:
Job Creation/Credit for Small Business:
Following on a letter Governor O’Malley spearheaded to President Obama and signed by 27 other Governors, Governor O’Malley urged members of Maryland’s Congressional delegation to support efforts to allocate up to ten percent of the $30 billion TARP fund to help stabilize state loan guaranty programs, which 34 states maintain to assist local small businesses gain access to the credit they need. It is estimated that for every dollar in additional loan guaranty investment, six dollars or more in private lending can be unlocked by expanding guarantees and minimizing the lending risk.
Governor O’Malley outlined a number of important initiatives related to the public health and emergency preparedness, including $2.5 million for a regional emergency response initiative in the National Capital Region. The partnership between Prince George’s Hospital Center, Malcolm Grow Medical Center on Andrews Air Force Base, and the University of Maryland Medical System will fill a gap in the region’s ability to respond to a large-scale emergency by ensuring adequate resources, communications capacities, and IT infrastructure.
The Governor also highlighted the need for investment in the state’s efforts to develop a completely interoperable communications network for local and state first responders and law enforcement agencies. The State is requesting federal investment to begin the phased built-out of the interoperable communications system.
In addition, Governor O’Malley requested funding to complete the installation of license plate readers at all of the Baltimore area’s critical bridge and tunnel highway infrastructure. The license plate recognition technology assists law enforcement in recovering stolen or suspect vehicles by instantly scanning traveling vehicles at a rapid rate to identify vehicles law enforcement may be searching for.
Water and Wastewater
Governor O’Malley outlined two waste water treatment plant projects for federal investment, including funding for a portion of the costs to upgrade the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant to provide Enhanced Nutrient Removal and control combined sewer overflows to reduce the nitrogen loading into the Chesapeake Bay. Funding for the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant would go towards construction of Biological Nutrient Removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal technologies at the plant.
The Governor also highlighted funding for specific BRAC-related improvements in Harford, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties. The Governor also requested federal funding for bus and bus facilities projects to enhance transit services for commuters throughout Maryland; and a second installment of the $1.5 billion recently authorized for WMATA in the Rail Safety bill.