Dear Friend,

I hope you are having a wonderful summer.

Now that the primary election is over, I thought you might like to hear about some of the local issues and events that affect us all.

Please let me know what issues you would like to hear about in future newsletters.

Sincerely,
Al
P.S. I am facing a contested general election race this fall. Would you help me with a donation of $10, $25, $50 or $100 to erase my primary campaign debt and put me on solid footing for November and beyond?
Should Maryland add Toll Lanes to the Beltway?

Did you know that our Republican Governor is fast-tracking a plan to widen the capital beltway? Last fall he announced a proposal to add four new private toll lanes to the entire length of the beltway in Maryland plus I270 south of I370. The plans are advancing rapidly, but you as a citizen have an opportunity to weigh in.

You might recall that earlier in 2018, Governor Hogan attempted to hand over the planning for this massive project to an outside entity. This was temporarily halted only after reports in the press that Hogan's transportation secretary took shortcuts in the procurement process and improperly participated in the awarding of the winning bid for this $68.5 million project to dinner buddies at his former employer.

Here are some ways you can get involved:
1) View an overview of the project and the 15 "alternatives" that Maryland State Highway Administration (MD SHA) staff claim to be considering click here
2) Watch a video recording of a meeting in which MD SHA project staff brief members of the Montgomery County Planning Board. click here
3) Consider attending MD SHA's upcoming official community meeting from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Wednesday, July 25th at Pyle Middle School, 6311 Wilson Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817 learn more
4) Provide your written feedback about this project to MD SHA staff (who do not live in our community) so that it is included in the record. send an email to MD SHA

I plan to express my disappointment that expansion of MARC Brunswick Line commuter rail service is not among the options being advanced for consideration.

Are you concerned that beltway widening may not be a wise course of action? Consider following a group called CABE - Citizens Against Beltway Expansion learn more
Take Action on Maryland's Predatory Toll Road collection policies

Speaking of toll roads, you might have read news coverage about predatory toll road collection policies under our Republican Governor that put some Marylanders into debt and even bankruptcy. Tolls ranging from $1.50 to $6.00 for non-E-ZPass transactions can result in punitive $50 per-transaction late fees, even when the vehicle owner never received the original notice. This has clogged our court system as tens of thousands of people seek relief from these unfair fees and wait up to a year to see a judge. People have even had their income tax refunds garnished after Governor Hogan approved a plan to raise transportation revenue using this aggressive collections method.

There is a better way. States like Massachusetts (a blue state with a Republican Governor just like Maryland) are able to collect tolls without preying on vulnerable citizens.

Marc Elrich wins Democratic nomination for County Executive after recount

Congratulations to Marc on winning the primary election! I am strongly supporting Marc as our Democratic nominee. Like me he faces competition in the November general election from a Republican nominee.

Photo of Marc from just before the 2010 primary election when he met my youngest son while canvassing in Kensington.
Marc Elrich with Al Carr and Oliver in 2010
New Laws go into effect in Maryland

Earlier this month a number of new laws went into effect in Maryland. Here are a few of them:

  • Higher minimum wage (passed several years ago and phased-in over time)
  • A new law promoting economic development in Kensington by updating alcohol laws
  • Enhancements to Maryland's childcare subsidy
  • Enhancements to the free and reduced meals program for students
  • Improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • A pilot program to add dental coverage for Maryland medicaid patients
  • Restoration of transportation revenue to local governments under the Highway User Revenue program
  • 2 new laws promoting "Complete Streets" to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility
  • A new law requiring age-appropriate curriculum in public schools on the issue of consent
  • Improvements to aid for community college tuition
  • A grant program to fix aging school facilities
  • A new law requiring better disclosure of money spent for online electioneering
2018 Delegate Carr Scholarship recipients announced

Each year I award scholarships to students attending college or graduate school in Maryland. Earlier this month we notified this year's recipients.

Since taking office in 2007, I have awarded a total of over $400,000 in scholarship funds to hundreds of higher education students residing in District 18.

Interested in applying for a Delegate Al Carr scholarship? Applications are taken each year between January 1st and April 30th. You must reside in District 18, be enrolled to attend a Maryland college or university (or be approved for a unique major at an out-of-state institution) and must fill out a FAFSA. Send us an email at alfred.carr@house.state.md.us for any questions or to get on our list to receive an application next January.


List of 2018 Carr Scholarship recipients:
list of 2018 scholarship recipients
WSSC's newly adopted water and sewer rate structure challenged before the Maryland Public Service Commission

Three years ago this month, a Maryland resident filed an appeal with the Maryland Public Service Commission about the discriminatory water and sewer rate structure in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties. The MD PSC ruled in his favor and WSSC formally adopted a new rate structure this month. They are a year behind schedule and some feel they have not gone far enough in addressing discrimination. The original appellant has formally raised these issues again with the MD PSC so stay tuned.

Road construction projects underway or coming soon

The Maryland State Highway Administration has announced a safety and resurfacing project which will be complete by fall 2019. The project includes milling (removal of the top layer of asphalt), paving and restriping. Other work includes repairing damaged concrete sidewalk, curbs and gutters and cleaning of drainage inlets and pipes. This project also includes upgrades of the traffic signal at the Dunlop Street intersection and installing concrete bus pads on Connecticut Avenue.

Expected to begin this week, the project is located in Chevy Chase on Connecticut Avenue between East-West Highway and Manor Road. SHA’s contractor, Congressional Contracting, Inc. of Potomac, is permitted to close single lanes Mondays through Fridays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Sunday nights through Friday mornings between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Crews will use barrels and cones to guide the nearly 66,000 vehicles that travel on this section of Connecticut Ave through the work zone.

Community Calendar

  • First Annual Consumerfest: Rep. Jamie Raskin invites you to attend his first annual ConsumerFest in partnership w/the Montgomery County's Office of Consumer Protection and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. Tuesday, July 24th, 2018. 7:00p in the Silver Spring Civic Center.
  • Annual CTP "Road Show" meeting: The Maryland Department of Transportation presents their draft 6-year Consolidated Transportation Clan for how gas tax money will be spent on capital improvements. The public can attend and elected officials can ask questions. Thursday, October 11, 2018. 7:00 p.m. - 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850. More info at www.montgomerycountydelegation.com
  • Montgomery County Delegation Joint House and Senate Priorities Hearing: Monday, November 14. 7:00 p.m. - 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850 - This hearing is an opportunity for the public to respond to the "Road Show" and to bring other issues of importance for the 2019 Session to the attention of the legislators. Any organization or individual may testify (The priorities hearing and road show will be carried live over County Cable Montgomery (Channel 6 on Comcast and Channel 30 on Verizon and can also be live streamed on County Cable Montgomery's website).