(The Center Square) – Maryland’s Republican governor again called out the General Assembly, two chambers each majority Democrats.

During a recent meeting of the Board of Public Works, which is comprised of Gov. Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, who is a candidate for governor, and Treasurer Derek Davis, the trio discussed the state’s gas tax and inflation and how it is negatively affecting Maryland residents.

Hogan called for a special session of the state’s General Assembly urging discussion pertaining to the state’s tax on gasoline and reconsidering the 7-cent per-gallon increase in the state’s gas tax, which took effect at the beginning of the month.

“Nearly four months ago, Maryland became the first state in the nation to suspend the state’s gas tax,” Hogan said. “I want to reiterate my call for the Legislature to come back and have an emergency special session to address the gas tax.”

He added, “I’m prepared to immediately sign a gas tax suspension into law so that we can provide more needed relief for these crushing costs, which are burdens to families and small businesses. There’s no reason we can’t come together in a bipartisan way.”

Franchot said he also believed lawmakers should convene a special session and take steps to assist Maryland residents who are most vulnerable and impacted by the price increases.

“We are in a recession,” Franchot said. “The question is whether it’s going to be a soft recession, lasting several months, or whether it’s going to be a long-term, years-long recession – a deep recession. We want to avoid that, and the way to avoid that is to do some small amount of stimulus work.”

Davis offered a different perspective and struck a more optimistic tone, hoping the highest gas prices is in the rearview mirror. The national average’s daily decline is nearing the 30 consecutive days mark.

“It’s not the tax that’s the problem. It’s the commodity itself that’s definitely the problem,” Davis said. “We must have hit that tipping point, because now it’s starting to go down the other way, despite the fact we have that increase.”

David Fidlin

The Center Square contributor

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