MD - Resilience Finance Authority Becomes Law; Gov. Hogan Allows Legislation to Pass Without Signature

A bill authorizing Maryland counties and municipalities to establish and fund resilience finance authorities passed with a bipartisan vote in the shortened 2020 Maryland General Assembly Session. These authorities can issue and sell state and local tax-exempt bonds for infrastructure projects.

May 7, 2020 - A bill sponsored by Senator Sarah Elfreth (District 30) and championed by Mayor Gavin Buckley and County Executive Steuart Pittman became law on Thursday when Governor Larry Hogan allowed the legislation to go into effect without his signature. The legislation passed with a bipartisan vote in the shortened 2020 Maryland General Assembly Session.

“Anne Arundel County is on the frontline of the battle against sea-level rise,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “In fact, we have 530 miles of that front line in the form of our coast. The finance authority that this bill allows will ultimately save our taxpayers money, protect our communities, and contribute to our efforts to Build Back Better.”

Passage of the legislation may play a critical role in redevelopment plans for Annapolis City Dock because it authorizes counties and municipalities to establish and fund resilience finance authorities. These authorities can issue and sell state and local tax-exempt bonds for infrastructure projects.

“The water is rising in Annapolis and has been for decades. We can no longer afford to kick the can down the road on solutions to protect our businesses and our residents,” Mayor Gavin Buckley said. “The potential for utilizing a finance authority is one of a number of tools in our toolbox. I thank Sen. Elfreth for bringing this legislation forward and working tirelessly to see it through.”

The legislation was championed by Democrats and Republicans on both sides of the Chesapeake Bay. For those with significant shoreline, the legislation is a way to help fund key resilience infrastructure projects that would otherwise be out of reach for communities with a strong aversion to new or additional taxes. Bonds may be issued under the Resilience Finance Authority as soon as FY 2021.

READ MORE