Maryland Official Defends Efforts to Prepare for BRAC Growth
Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) this week responded swiftly to a commentary published in a local newspaper disparaging the state’s efforts to make the transportation improvements needed to accommodate a burst of growth at five installations.
Despite the severe economic downturn, the state invested $3.5 billion in transportation, higher education, school construction and other infrastructure projects in counties affected by BRAC, Brown, chairman of the governor’s BRAC Subcabinet, noted in his response in the Gazette newspaper.
“For transportation projects, we took a balanced approach to tackling BRAC’s impact on our infrastructure network and implemented short-term, lower-cost projects while continuing to work on long-term capital projects,” he said. This “high-low” approach was recognized as an innovative best practice by the National Governors Association, Brown added.
The commentary that prompted Brown’s reply also criticized the governor’s failure to create a University of Maryland campus near Aberdeen Proving Ground.
In response, Brown highlighted the steps the state took to help residents gain the necessary training and advanced degrees needed for BRAC-related jobs. More than 2,100 Marylanders have been trained for BRAC jobs in just the first two years of a program supported by 39 higher education grants totaling $3.7 million. Next spring, seven new degree programs will be offered near the proving ground by Maryland’s public and private higher-education institutions, he said.
In July, ADC named Brown the association’s Elected Official of the Year.