The political fighting over funding for transportation projects continued Wednesday, with Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz warning that Gov. Larry Hogan will face blowback if he cancels Baltimore Beltway projects.
"I challenge the governor to try and not fund the Beltway expansion projects that have already been placed in the six-year master plan for funding," Kamenetz said. "I'm sure he'll hear from frustrated drivers."
Kamenetz was responding to Hogan's declaration last week that four projects on the Beltway — also known as Interstate 695 — are among those at risk of not being funded as a result of a law requiring the state to rank transportation projects based on factors such as number of people served.
The Office of the Attorney General, Department of Legislative Services and Democrats who control the General Assembly say the law allows the governor to ignore the rankings when making funding decisions, so long as a written explanation is given.
Doug Mayer, a spokesman for the governor, said Kamenetz doesn't understand how the bill works.
"The person in Baltimore County who is going to have to answer to his constituents about why they supported the roadkill bill is the county executive," Mayer said. "And we look forward to seeing that play out."
Hogan has dubbed the law the "road kill bill" and says overturning it will be his top priority when the next General Assembly session begins in January. Democratic leaders insist the bill shouldn't result in any projects being killed, and will instead add transparency to the funding process.
Hogan said last week that the law will "wreak havoc on our entire transportation system."
Kamenetz, a Democrat considering a run against Hogan in 2018, said that's not true.
"It's not responsible governing. It's fake news and that's right out of the Republican playbook," Kamenetz said.
Kamenetz issued a press release and made social media postings in the same vein on Wednesday. He acknowledged he has not spoken with the governor nor written to him about this issue.
"There's nothing to call about," he said.