State Sen. Jim Brochin, who is widely expected to run for Baltimore County Executive, today announced that he will introduce legislation that he says will address “pay-to-play” in the county council.
The legislation would “prohibit campaign contributions to any member of the Baltimore County Council or the County Executive of Baltimore County during pendency of land zoning applications. … The bill proposes to prohibit land development applicants, and agents of applicants, from making financial contributions payments to members of the Baltimore County Council or the County Executive of Baltimore County during the pendency of the application beginning in 2019, affecting business preceding 3 years of an application . It also prohibits members from voting or participating in the application proceedings under certain circumstances. The proposed bill will also require the applicant, under certain circumstances, to file a specified affidavit under oath after filing any application, and before the application is considered by the County Council of Baltimore County.”
Councilman David Marks, who represents much of Towson, said in an email to the Flyer, “I look forward to Senator Brochin introducing legislation that restricts members of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, on which he serves, from accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from lawyers who have business before this committee.”
Brochin’s news release said he “has become frustrated over the years with what he sees as a ‘pay-to- play’ system for certain development projects, where Baltimore County Council members and/or the County Executive receive contributions numbering well into tens of thousands of dollars for land development projects within the County.”
In a statement about the bill, a spokesperson for the Green Towson Alliance, which opposes a proposed Royal Farms at York Road and Bosley Avenue and is working to make other upcoming developments more walkable and environmentally friendly, said: “The Green Towson Alliance has struggled to achieve our mission to achieve a greener, healthier, more attractive community in the face of developer influence over elected officials.”
Brochin’s office said he will hold a press conference Monday to discuss the legislation.