By Sen. Roy Dyson

[ Senator Dyson's Newletter ]

May 17, 1996

I was in Annapolis on Monday, Map 13 for the governor's press conference to
announce the state's response to the expected population growth in Southern Maryland
from the expansion at Pax River. I came away feeling very positive about the future of
Southern Maryland.

After the conference I ran into an old friend of mine who has an important job in state
government He congratulated me on behalf of Southern Maryland for being the
recipient of such a nice chunk of state aid. And he said something else which is quite
telling. He said the state's economic picture is pretty bleak and Southern Maryland is,
quite frankly, the only place in the state where anything is happening. The Port of
Baltimore is experiencing trouble. The rest of the state is stagnating

The state's fiscal woes are in part a reflection of economic conditions. The latest update
on revenues and expenditures from the Department of Fiscal Services, dated May 13,
says there will likely be a $200 million budget shortfall in the next fiscal year. A
projected 3.6 percent revenue growth will be offset by such things as elimination of the
snack tax and continued entitlement increases

So the governor`s announcement was really good news not only for Southern Maryland
but the whole state. While many of the projects had already been approved by the
legislature or announced before, some where new, and putting them all together in one
package for everyone to see, and for the press to publicize, helped get out our
message. Most of those extra state moneys are being earmarked for necessary schools
and roads in St. Mary's Calvert and Charles counties.

St. Mary's County received an additional $2.1 million in school construction moneys on
top of the $3.2 million approved in January. And Calvert County will receive $2.5
million in addition to the $1.3 approved in January.

Road projects such as the Route 5 Hughesville bypass and improvements to Routes 2/4
in prince Frederick were put on an accelerated schedule. Route 235's expansion to six
lanes has already been accelerated.

I would like to publicly praise Governor Glendening for taking the leadership role in
seeing that our requests were heard and acted on. Although he didn't go along with
everything requested by the Infrastructure Committee, his response shows that he cares
about Southern Maryland and cares about assisting us in solving problems we just can't
solve on our own. These are good problems, not bad problems, because they are being
caused by the good economic news. The governor understands that we have a goose
down here which is laying a golden egg. He realizes that inattention could kill the goose.

I also would like to publicly thank the county commissioners of the three Southern
Maryland counties for their initiative. Sometimes we fail to realize that most of Southern
Maryland's elected officials are new to their positions. They needed some time to get
acquainted with the issues and with each other. And of course there was some
disagreement about the best approach for some of the infrastructure improvements. But
they quickly put the peddle to the metal. That unified approach was most helpful in
getting the governor's support.

Also worthy of special praise is the new chairman of the Southern Maryland
Delegation, Charles County Delegate Van Mitchell. He stepped into the position in the
middle of the just finished legislative session and has done a remarkable job in a short
time. I have no doubt that his leadership also played a key role in this whole process.

At this time last year many state agencies had not bought into the need for special help
for Southern Maryland. It was our persistent and unified voice stating that need in no
uncertain terms, and the governor's wholehearted support for it, which has allowed us
to prevail. The fight isn't yet over. There is still much to do. I assure you I will be right in
front of those efforts. But the chance for success will be that much easier now that we
are all working for the same goal: a bright future for Southern Maryland.

[ Senator Dyson's Newletter ]