Transportation “Lock-Box” Amendment Draws Support from over 80% of Maryland Voters

Maryland voters have spoken!  And with their overwhelming approval tonight, the Maryland Constitution will now be amended to prevent the diversion of Transportation Trust Fund revenues to non-transportation purposes.  Any way you look at it, this is a huge victory for Maryland transportation advocates, and passage of Question 1 will help ensure a more stable and predictable funding stream for major transit and road improvements in the Free State for years to come.

SMTA is releasing the following statement to mark this historic victory, which for us has been 10 years in the making:


Statement of Samuel Raker, Acting Chair, Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance (SMTA)

On the Passage of Maryland Ballot Question 1: November 4, 2014

This is an historic moment for transportation advocates in Maryland. In 2013, the Maryland General Assembly enacted the first major increase in transportation funding in a generation.  This year, voters moved to protect those funds so major new projects like the Purple Line, the Red Line, the Corridor Cities Transitway, and hundreds of intersection, road and bridge improvements in every part of Maryland can move forward to construction.

The voters of Maryland have spoken loud and clear that they want to protect our future ability to invest in transportation by enacting a “lock-box” constitutional amendment – by a wide margin — that will effectively prevent Maryland Transportation Trust Fund dollars from being diverted to other uses. These new constitutional protections are real, and will set a high barrier that future state leaders will find difficult to circumvent, legislatively, politically and constitutionally.

Restoring the public’s trust that Transportation Trust Fund dollars will be spent meeting our urgent transportation needs was SMTA’s highest priority this year, and thanks to the hard work of leaders from across the political spectrum we can now say, “mission accomplished.” But the longer-term mission of improving the safety and efficiency of our transportation network remains a work in progress.

Of particular note today is the margin of victory Question 1 achieved: Based on unofficial returns (with 88% of precincts reporting at this writing), Question 1 appears to have garnered the support of 81% of Maryland voters.  This is a stunning example of the high priority Marylanders from across the political spectrum place on making investments in our critical transportation infrastructure.

This is also a vivid reminder to Maryland elected officials that voters have made transportation investment an urgent priority and they should too. Maryland Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller has been listening, and played a leading role in securing passage of Question 1.  He deserves much of the credit along with a strong coalition of groups and individuals who came together this year to see it through.  Let’s hope the days when most elected officials in this state treated transportation as a distant afterthought are long gone, however we must do more than hope.

The challenge now is to finish the job of ensuring adequate transportation funding by restoring the nearly $1 billion in local transportation funding that was diverted out of the Transportation Trust Fund prior to Question One’s passage, and never restored. Then let’s make sure going forward that our transportation dollars are invested wisely in projects that make the most difference in reducing congestion, improving access to jobs and housing, supporting economic growth and sustainable communities, and improving the quality-of-life of our citizens for years to come.

Passage of Question 1 is just a start, but it’s a heck of a good start!

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Coalition Press Conference Shines Bright Election-Day Spotlight on Question 1 

Today is Election Day, and as Maryland voters headed out to the polls, yesterday’s press conference in Annapolis by supporters of Question 1 generated a great deal of media coverage.  Their message was simple – invest in more jobs and a stronger economy, reduced congestion, better roads and transit service, and a better quality of life – vote FOR the transportation “Lock-box” amendment, Question 1.  If you have not yet voted, make sure you do!  Polls are open until 8:00 pm.  Vote FOR One!

Here are the highlights from today’s media coverage:

News Stories:

WBFF-TV 10P News –

WBAL-TV 11P News –

WBAL Radio –

Cumberland Times-News –

Transportation for America –


Baltimore Sun –

Washington Post –

Cumberland Times-News –

Easton Star Democrat –


Washington Post Editorial, Annapolis Press Conference, Add to Question 1 Momentum as Election Reaches the Home Stretch

Today was a big day:  SMTA released a letter signed by three former Maryland Secretaries of Transportation — David Winstead, John Porcari and Robert Flanagan — endorsing the Lock-box amendment.  The three former Secretaries served both Republican and Democratic former Governors, reflecting the broad support for Question 1 from across the political spectrum. Read more.

Supporters of Question 1 in Maryland — the Transportation “Lock-box” amendment — were cheered by a strong editorial in Sunday’s Washington Post that also called on voters to vote FOR Question 1.  See the Washington Post Endorsement here.

Then, at a rally in Annapolis, supporters gathered to highlight the strong bi-partisan support Question 1 has attracted from all parts of the State.  Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch joined SMTA and other representatives from the Coalition to Protect Maryland’s Transportation Fund in calling on Maryland voters in both parties to vote FOR Question 1.

This is it:  Polls open tomorrow, Tuesday, November 4th, from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm.  Don’t miss this opportunity to get out and vote to protect our ability to invest in Maryland’s future transportation needs.  This is a critical moment for all Marylanders, for a brighter economic future, reduced congestion, improved safety and better quality-of-life for all citizens of the Free State.

Get out and vote!  Vote FOR Question 1!



The Baltimore Sun website now features an excellent column submitted by Donald Fry, President of the Greater Baltimore Committee, endorsing the passage of Question 1 on this year’s Maryland ballot.  Question 1 would enact a constitutional amendment prohibiting the transfer of dedicated transportation funds for non-transportation purposes, except under emergency circumstances.  SMTA strongly supports passage of Question 1, and welcomes the support from other leading voices from all over Maryland.

Here is the link to the Baltimore Sun article, which should appear tomorrow in the print edition.

Remember, early voting begins on October 23rd this year, and election day is November 4th.  So please mark your calendar and get out and vote FOR Question 1!



Maryland voters will have a chance on Tuesday, November 4th, to cast their votes on “Question 1”, which would amend the Maryland Constitution to create a “lock box” provision to protect dedicated transportation funds from being diverted to other uses.  SMTA urges Maryland voters to vote FOR QUESTION ONE, as this will make it much harder for future state leaders to “raid” the Transportation Trust Fund, as Governors from both major parties have repeatedly done in the past.

A broad coalition of Marylanders is coming together to support Question 1, and a new website has been created at:

We need your support to restore the “trust” the Maryland’s Transportation Trust Fund, and make sure the funds we collect from fuel taxes and vehicle fees go to pay for critical investments in the road and transit systems on which we all depend.  For job creation, better transit options, reduced congestion and more predictable funding levels for future projects, voters should support this amendment and VOTE FOR QUESTION ONE.