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Last night in a marathon session, the Maryland General Assembly ended its three-week special session by earmarking $50 million per year to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. The funds will be used to reduce pollution and bring the State closer to meeting its 2010 Bay-restoration commitments.
The legislature adopted the House's plan, which will fund the cleanup efforts through the existing motor fuel tax and the car rental tax. No new taxes were created for this fund.
As anyone following the Green Fund issue can attest, it's been a tough road. We couldn't have done it without the thousands of concerned citizens who baked crab cookies, sent postcards, and made phone calls to their elected leaders to let them know clean water is a critical issue they want to see addressed.
Del. Maggie MacIntosh, who sponsored the House Bill, has been an incredible advocate for our Bay. CBF thanks her, the rest of the General Assembly, and Governor O'Malley and his administration for passing this legislation. We look forward to working with them in the upcoming session on the next step--legislation to ensure the funds are used effectively and efficiently to get the Bay off of the federal "dirty waters" list.