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Eye on Annapolis: Miller says administration-backed transportation bill coming

A day after meeting with the Democratic leaders of the General Assembly, Gov. Martin O’Malley may soon introduce a bill that would raise hundreds of millions of dollars for transportation projects.

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

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert and Prince George’s, said Friday that he expects O’Malley to have legislation ready to be introduced when both houses of the legislature convene Monday at 8 p.m. A spokeswoman for the governor said later that there was nothing to announce yet.

Details of an administration-backed plan have not emerged. Miller introduced his own bill last month that would create a new 3 percent tax on wholesale gasoline purchases while simultaneously hiking the per-gallon fee to 28.5-cents from 23.5-cents. Miller’s plan also calls for the creation of regional authorities in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas that could raise property taxes to pay for light rail projects.

House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel, has meanwhile been working with leaders in his chamber to develop a transportation plan that could raise between $500 and $600 million while raising taxes statewide. O’Malley has previously said he preferred a statewide tax increase to regional hikes.

Miller said he has some inkling of what O’Malley’s bill will look like, but wasn’t divulging details.

“I do, but you’ll have to hear from him,” he said.

For more from the General Assembly, visit the Eye on Annapolis blog.