State Roundup, December 21, 2016

DESCHENAUX DISPUTES HOGAN CLAIM: Michael Dresser of the Sun reports that nearly half of the transportation projects Gov. Larry Hogan identified as at risk because of a new law the General Assembly passed are not funded anyway, the legislature’s chief analyst says. In a letter to the assembly’s Democratic leaders, Warren G. Deschenaux disputed the central premise of Hogan’s campaign against a law the Republican governor has dubbed the “Road Kill Bill.”

FRACKING FIGHT FORESHADOWED: A General Assembly hearing Tuesday on regulations to protect water quality and public health if fracking begins in Maryland foreshadowed an imminent fight over whether to ban the natural gas-extraction process before the proposed rules could even take effect next year. Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles called the rules a “platinum package,” a step up from the “gold standard” former Gov. Martin O’Malley applied in fracking rules his administration released early in 2015, Scott Dance reports in the Sun.