Throughout the campaign for the Delegate 9B seat, I said I believed the the state could, and should, do more to help historic Ellicott City recover from the two catastrophic floods in 2016 and 2018. I identified a dormant program established by law many years ago called the “Comprehensive Flood Mitigation Grant Program”. This program was set up to do exactly what we needed, provide local governments with funds to reduce risk of loss of life and property from flooding. Intended uses of funds cover acquisition of flood-prone properties, installation of flood warning systems, and construction of flood control projects. Unfortunately, the last time this program was funded was 2002, so while the program existed, no funds were available to help Howard County.
I have two pieces of good news to report. First, I filed a bill today with 19 bipartisan delegates cosponsoring it (and with Katie Fry Hester, Maryland Senate D9 crossfiling it with several cosponsors) that would require the state to fund the Flood Mitigation Grant Program EACH year and to expand its purpose to help local governments with flood damaged infrastructure repairs. If the bill passes, funding would be available in 2020.
Second, I’m pleased to report that Governor Hogan has included funding for this dormant fund for the first time in his budget this year (funding would be available in 2019). Governor Hogan has recognized this need, and placed $5 million in the budget. We need to now appropriate funding every year so that the many communities impacted by severe storms and resulting flooding can access state support in times of catastrophic loss. Ellicott City will be at the top of the list to qualify for this funding. Senator Hester and I will work tirelessly to help win the support of the General Assembly for the future funding bill, and to approve this year’s funding of $5 million. We took this photo at the Clerk’s office when we filed the bills to mark the beginning our efforts to get this bill passed!
Stay tuned for how you can help. #working4MD