BEL AIR — Harford County Executive Barry Glassman’s legislative priorities for the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session include state road improvements, funding to treat mental illness and addiction, and sustainable increases in education funding. The state legislature convened Wednesday, Jan. 8.

To ease traffic and improve safety on state roads, Harford County will renew its requests for:

• A second left turn lane onto MD Route 24 from the U.S. 1 Bypass;

• A third northbound lane on MD Route 24 from the existing three-lane section south of Singer Road to north of Plumtree Road;

• A second left turn lane from northbound MD Route 543 onto southbound I-95, with a receiving lane on the I-95 southbound ramp;

• Improvements on the MD Route 22 corridor from Harford Community College to MD Route 155, including intersection improvements from MD Route 136 west to MD Route 155 east;

• A roundabout at MD Route 23 and Grafton Shop Road, the site of numerous motor vehicle accidents.

Working with the Maryland Association of Counties, Glassman will also seek increased state funding for local health departments. Despite the growing need for mental health and substance abuse treatment, local health departments are the only state agencies whose funding has not been restored since the Great Recession.

Paying for the Kirwan Commission’s recommended increases in education funding is expected to dominate the legislative session. Having served on the commission’s Funding Formula Workgroup, Glassman will advocate for a robust level of public education funding without unduly burdening county budgets or slighting other essential local services.

Glassman will also support the Harford County Board of Education’s request for a total of $30,707,000 toward the Joppatowne High School limited renovation and roof replacements at Hickory Elementary and Bel Air Middle schools. The county’s share of these projects in fiscal year 2021 totals $16.7 million and the state’s share is $13.9 million, in accordance with state funding formulas.

Other local priorities include a $1 million request toward connecting the two separate sections of the Ma & Pa Trail. Once completed, this pedestrian and bicycle trail will offer a bucolic seven-mile route between Fallston and Forest Hill by way of downtown Bel Air.

“Each new session of the Maryland General Assembly brings opportunities to advocate for the citizens we serve,” Glassman said. “As a state legislator for 16 years, and now as county executive, I look forward to working with the legislature to advance my priorities for Harford County and the state.”

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