A Failed Push to Delay Purple Line Vote?
The Montgomery County Council unanimously agreed to a 16-mile rail line connecting the county with Prince George's today, but some delegates in Annapolis are buzzing about possible last minute efforts to convince the council to hold back their support.
Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery) said she heard Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery) encouraging a council member to delay the vote and instead use council support for the project as leverage against Prince George's County, where leaders are particularly enthusiastic about the line.
In particular, Gutierrez said Madaleno wanted Prince George's to back off a proposal that would change how Maryland goes about calculating the relative wealth of different jurisdictions. The calculation is key because it goes into considering how state aid is divvied up. Prince George's lawmakers have been considering backing a change to the calculation that would benefit their county and hurt Montgomery--but they have not yet filed a bill on the topic this year.
"He was saying, 'we need to be strong so they don't go forward on this,'" Gutierrez said of the lobbying. She said she was speaking publicly about it because she wanted to ensure unity within the county in support of the purple line project.
Asked about the exchange, Madaleno declined to comment on what he termed private conversations.
"I think we need to consider all the issues around the Purple Line," he said.
January 27, 2009; 4:46 PM ET
Categories: Rosalind Helderman
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