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Hogan vetoes MTA advisory board, Potomac bridge money

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that he is vetoing five bills the General Assembly passed this spring.

One of the more controversial measures would create an advisory board to direct planning at the Maryland Transit Administration.

In a letter explaining his decision, Hogan called the bill “a sophomoric attack on sound transportation policy by creating an unprecedented imposition of a politically-driven board to second-guess the authority of an executive branch agency.”

He also criticized what he said was disproportionately heavy Baltimore area representation on the board.

Baltimore City Del. Brooke Lierman, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, said the vast majority of MTA riders live in the Baltimore area. However, the legislation gives several seats to residents from anywhere in the state.

She said MTA is the only major transit agency in the country without an advisory body.

“The board is a source of oversight of the transit agency and a way to provide input by the public who are riding on the transit,” she said. “So this is a good governance bill. It’s to move MTA forward, and it has nothing to do with politics.”

A spokesman for Hogan declined an interview for this story.

The other vetoed measures include one that would have set aside money to replace the Potomac River Bridge in Charles County, and one to increase the amount of electricity from renewable sources.