Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Saturday named his former chief of staff, Matthew D. Gallagher, as chairman of a new task force that will examine the possibility of creating regional authorities to finance transportation projects.
The task force was created this year by the same legislation that authorized an increase of gas taxes in Maryland that is expected to generate billions of dollars more for road and transit projects.
The idea of regional authorities was advanced during the legislative session by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) as one means to raise additional money for projects that primarily benefit one region of the state. Under his vision, the authority could levy an additional tax on residents within its region.
In April, Gallagher was named the next president and chief executive officer of the Goldseker Foundation, which invests in community and economic development projects in the Baltimore region.
The 11-member task force also includes Transportation Secretary James T. Smith and several state lawmakers and local officials.
It is charged with making recommendations by Dec. 15, in time for lawmakers to consider them during next year’s legislative session.