Two State Center–related bills submitted to the state House and Senate during this year’s legislative center will become law without the Governor’s signature. HB1286 and SB614 require neighborhood notification and involvement in any revised or future redevelopment plan for the State Center site.
Both bills were passed during this year’s legislative session but were left unsigned by Governor Hogan at the end of the session. The House bill was introduced by Delegate Cheryl Glenn with many co-sponsors, and introduced by Senator Barbara Robinson in the Senate.
John Kyle of the State Center Neighborhood Alliance expressed his gratitude to neighbors who testified on behalf of the bills in Annapolis, wrote letters of support, and called legislators to lobby for the bills. The fact that the bills will become law “is a very hopeful and important step,” said Kyle.
The passage of these bills means that any development on the State Center site will require meaningful participation by neighborhood groups including BHCA and the State Center Neighborhood Association. The current plan, which has been developed over the past ten-plus years, is still mired in litigation.
Kyle also reports that State Comptroller Peter Franchot is also considering moving his 400 employees from State Center to a building further downtown. Moreover, the fact that Hogan allowed this year’s legislative session to end without signing either HB1286 or SB614 reflects his ongoing reluctance to engage neighborhood groups on development efforts.
However, most of Hogan’s challengers in this year’s gubernatorial race have expressed a commitment to seeing State Center redevelopment move forward.
“We achieved a significant step. We have more to do,” said Kyle.