Maryland GOP delays veto override vote | WYPR

Maryland GOP delays veto override vote

Jan 26, 2017

Activists outside the State House Thursday encourage lawmakers to override Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill increasing the state's use of renewable electricity sources.
Credit Rachel Baye

The Maryland Senate delayed a vote Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill requiring the state to increase its use of renewable energy. Senate Republicans asked to delay the vote until next week, citing new information from the state Public Service Commission.

Current law requires 20 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by the year 2022. The bill changes that to 25 percent by 2020.

Republicans say the measure has a high price tag in the form of an increase on ratepayers’ electric bills.

“We’re going to put up a debate and we’re going to put up a fight on this tax,” Senate Minority Whip Stephen Hershey told reporters Thursday morning.

Hershey cited the latest Public Service Commission annual report on the existing rules. It shows that the cost to electric providers jumped from about $104 million in 2014 to nearly $127 million in 2015, likely because of high demand for renewable energy.

Despite the delay, Senate President Mike Miller, a Democrat, maintains that the body will override Hogan’s veto.

"Every democrat here is going to vote for the override," he said.

The House is scheduled to vote on Tuesday, while the Senate vote is now set for next Thursday.