A special $3.6 million fund proposed by Gov. Harry Hughes to help jurisdictions with pressing transportation problems was criticized yesterday by a key Prince George's senator, who characterized it as a "slush fund" with little chance of being passed by the legislature in its present form.
Frank J. Komenda, an Oxon Hill Democrat and chairman of a budget subcommittee on transportation, said the fund was "completely unheard of . . . and strikes me as very strange."
Hughes proposed the fund in his fiscal 1986 budget and hopes to establish it in the office of the state transportation secretary.
The Transportation Department would then disburse the money based on recommendations from economic development officials.
Officials in Montgomery County, which faces severe highway congestion in some areas, are seeking $25 million in road funds from the legislature and hope the fund is approved.
House Speaker Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Baltimore) and Transportation Secretary William K. Hellmann have told some Montgomery legislators that their county would have a good shot at some of the $3.6 million if the fund is established.
However, Komenda said that without some legislative controls over the appropriation the fund may not clear the Senate Budget Committee.
"I don't see the General Assembly giving anybody any blank checks," said Komenda.