Maryland Approves FY24 Funding Commitment for Southern Maryland Rapid Transit

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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The State budget for FY24, which includes a sizeable financial commitment for the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit Project, has been approved by the Maryland House of Delegates.

The budget bill calls for the addition of $100 million in general funds to the appropriation for the Dedicated Purpose Account within the State Reserve Fund to support the State match for future federal grants and to fund future environmental studies for the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit and Red Line projects, as reported by the Southern Maryland Chronicle.

Since several years, the SMRT project has been in the planning stage. A year ago, Congress approved $5 million to start the project’s final planning stage. Legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2021 required the State to respond with an equal commitment of $5 million, the report said.

Charles County has submitted a new funding request to the Congressional Delegation for the next round of federal appropriations, and discussions with State leaders in recent months have emphasized the importance of additional funding for SMRT in the State’s budget, according to the Chronicle. 

The new State budget commitment of $100 million is crucial because it indicates that if Congress authorizes further earmark spending for SMRT, the State will match them dollar for dollar, the report said. The final phase of SMRT environmental studies will not be halted due to a lack of financing, and MDOT will have the funds to finish the design, engineering, NEPA process, and acquire a federal Record-of-Decision for SMRT as soon as possible.

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