For all who may wonder what it is that an effective state legislator does for the local common good, there are some good examples in the handiwork of the delegations from Montgomery and Prince George's counties. They worked Annapolis for construction money this year and brought home results. Lest there be wails from other parts of the state about how they were fleeced, it helps to remember where so much of the state money comes from in the first place. Besides, thanks to bountiful state revenues over the past year, nobody around the state went home penniless.
There were two words atop Montgomery's "must" list of projects crying out for more state aid: roads and schools. Both are congested in parts of the county north of Rockville, and both will benefit from new help on the way from Annapolis. Uppermost in the minds of county officials is a serious go at improving Rte. 118, which commuters clog at least twice daily on their way to and from the I-270 corridor.
Other money for Montgomery will build a biotechnology center near I-270, provide subsidies for the local Ride-On bus system and finance improvements at Suburban Hospital. This wasn't everything the county delegates and senators asked for, but they had bid high in the knowledge that not everything would get the nod.
As far as Prince George's is concerned, it took some time before the delegation in Annapolis and the administration in Upper Marlboro got any sort of half-harmonious act together. But money is on the way for a proposed county justice center in Hyattsville, for improvements to the Capitol Institute of Technology in Laurel, for the 4-H Foundation in College Park (used by people from all around the state), for school construction and for an indoor area for the equestrian center in Upper Marlboro.
Add this state money to the additional yield coming from a modification of the property-tax restrictions in Prince George's and to what then becomes possible in the way of bond issues for recreation centers and parks, and you have the wherewithal for some long-sought improvements across the county.
Dedicated lobbying, as any state lawmaker from Montgomery and Prince George's can tell you, pays off.