BALTIMORE — Lawmakers haven’t reached the finish line just yet when it comes to relief at the pump but with a unanimous favorable vote in the House Thursday, the gas tax holiday bill is closer to becoming law than it’s been since it was drafted.
Governor Larry Hogan is expected to sign the bill into law Friday.
“Usually it’s about like 40 if I’m on an empty tank but now it’s $60,” driver Beza Marsha said.
Relief for Marsha’s wallet and thousands of Maryland drivers is in sight.
“It should be on the governors desk coming back from second session this afternoon, this evening. I think this is a great opportunity to provide relief at the pump for folks living paycheck to paycheck but watching gas go up,” said Senator Cory McCray.
Since Senate Bill 1010, that would save Marylanders 36 cents per gallon at the pump, was introduced state legislators went on a deep dive looking into maximizing the bill’s impact on everyday folks struggling at the pump beginning their talks with gas station owners and operators.
“They talked about the underground gas the gas that’s already in the ground at the moment and how that would be looked at and how we need to credit them for that so things that we could do to make sure our intent is that the consumers feel it not that it just goes on into another business’s pocket,” McCray said.
The House voted unanimously in favor of the emergency legislation Thursday afternoon.
“The unanimous vote obviously an opinion that everyone in the General Assembly agrees that the citizens need some help,” said Delegate Marvin Holmes Jr.
It’s help they’re a step closer to getting by way of the state funding surplus, according to a report from Governor Hogan just a week ago.
“We had a surplus of a billion and a half dollars last Thursday we found out. This $100 million forecasted over a 30-day period so an opportunity to kind of put money back in not messing with the transportation trust fund but just extra resources to put tax payer dollars back into Marylanders our friends, family and neighbors,” McCray said.
As the cost of fuel across the country remains uncertain over the next month, talks will pivot to future options on the table beyond the 30 day period if necessary.
“If we have sufficient enough budget surpluses from the comptrollers office perhaps it will be an opportunity for us to extend that for a little bit more time so we don’t know that just yet,” said Holmes.
“But this 30 days provide a great opportunity from that stand point for us to evaluate going forward,” McCray said.
In the meantime Beza is happy for any relief she can get
“I think it sounds good whatever to keep the costs low as long as it’s not hurting anyone,” said Marsha.
You can view the bill here.