Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

DeMarco, son ride across Md. to support veto override

The journey to overturn one of Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes will begin with a single push of a bike pedal.

Vinny DeMarco (left) and son Jamie plan to ride across Maryland to draw attention to and solidify suport for an override of one of Gov. Larry Hogan's vetoes.

Vinny DeMarco (left) and son Jamie plan to ride across Maryland to draw attention to and solidify suport for an override of one of Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes. (Photo courtesy Vinny DeMarco)

Vinny DeMarco, an avid bike rider and  progressive lobbyist who has promoted laws imposing stricter licensing procedures for handguns and increased taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, will cycle 341 miles across the state with his son to draw attention to the effort to override a veto of a bill meant to increase the amount of electricity that must be generated in Maryland using wind and solar sources.

DeMarco believes the votes are there to override the veto on a bill mandating increases in the amount of electricity generated by wind and solar to 25 percent by 2020.

But he’s not taking any chances, despite the fact that both the House and Senate versions passed the legislature with veto-proof majorities in each chamber.

“You’ve really got to work it,” DeMarco said. “It’s not a sure thing. You can’t take it for granted. You’ve got to hold people together.”

Hogan vetoed Senate Bill 921 (and the identical House Bill 1106) earlier this year. In a letter, he called the goal laudable but said the legislation would raise fees between $49 million and $196 million to fund industry compliance with the law.

“This legislation is a tax increase that will be levied upon every single electricity payer in Maryland and, for that reason alone, I cannot allow it to become law,” Hogan wrote in his veto letter.

Advocates of the law dispute the figures, saying the cost would be much less.

DeMarco, 59, and his son Jamie, 23, plan to start their trip on Aug. 18 outside the convention center in Ocean City when many lawmakers and officials from counties around the state gather for the annual Maryland Association of Counties Conference. The pair are planning to arrive in Deep Creek, more than 340 miles away, around noon on Aug. 22.

House Appropriations Chairwoman Maggie McIntosh, D-Baltimore City, is also expected to join the pair for a portion of the first leg of their journey.