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O’Malley, presiding officers to meet on transportation

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., Gov. Martin O'Malley and House Speaker Michael E. Busch at a bill signing ceremony last summer. (File Photo)

Gov. Martin O’Malley plans to meet with the presiding officers of the General Assembly on Thursday afternoon to discuss transportation revenue options.

An aide said it’s unclear whether O’Malley is ready to endorse a strategy that would raise money for roads, highways, bridges and mass transit projects.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert and Prince George’s, introduced a plan this month that he has called a “menu” of options, which includes a 3 percent tax on gasoline at the wholesale level, a 5-cent hike in the per-gallon fee and the establishment of regional taxing authorities in the Baltimore and suburban Washington, D.C., areas.

House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel, is working with leaders in his chamber to devise a separate strategy that would raise between $500 and $600 million through statewide tax increases.

Miller has repeatedly said that a transportation revenue package will fail unless O’Malley puts his political weight behind a proposal. The governor has been reluctant to introduce his own plan after suggestions he made last year that involved increasing the sales tax or applying the levy to gasoline purchases were discarded by legislative leaders.