Mountain Counties Press Legislature for Jobs, State Funds

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s two westernmost counties are pressing the General Assembly to pass bills aimed at creating more jobs and bringing more state dollars to their mountainous region.

Their goals at a Thursday night reception and Friday breakfast in Annapolis also include a pitch to allow hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the region, “in an environmentally sound manner.”

A state moratorium on the drilling technique is set to expire in October. The governments of Garrett and Allegany counties say in a statement that citizens should be able to benefit and prosper from the region’s abundant natural resources.

The counties also are asking for more state help with economic development projects. And they are seeking bigger payments in lieu of taxes on state forest and park land.

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