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Restoration of Highway User Revenues to Pre-Recession Levels, Preservation of Local Authority in Setting Standards and Procedures for Small Wireless Infrastructure

News Release, Maryland Municipal League

Annapolis, Md. (October 23, 2019) – The Maryland Municipal League (MML) membership, which reflects 157 cities and towns and two special taxing districts in Maryland, has approved its top legislative priorities for the 2020 Maryland General Assembly session.

In approving the legislative agenda at MML’s recent fall conference in Cambridge, Md., the membership is placing a strong emphasis on the need to fully and permanently restore the funding source for municipal transportation needs, along with the preservation of local authority in the siting and aesthetics of small wireless infrastructure.

MML has also adopted two strategic initiatives.

The 2020 legislative priorities approved by the MML membership during the October 2019 fall conference, are:

  1. Full and permanent restoration of municipal highway user revenue. Legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2018 provided a much-appreciated increase in municipal HUR funding to about 85% of pre-recession levels, but only for five fiscal years. After FY 2024, the law is set to return municipalities to the low levels experienced just a few years ago, with no guarantee of additional grants. MML will advocate for full and permanent funding of municipal HUR and explore opportunities to tie HUR’s to the Consumer Price Index to account for a rise in inflation.
  1. Preservation of local authority in the siting and aesthetics of small wireless infrastructure. Statewide legislation to preempt local governments with regard to siting of small wireless facilities has failed in the General Assembly the past two years. MML must continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that 5g technology is welcomed to our municipalities while retaining the current authority to set the procedures and standards by which small cells are deployed.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...