Maryland Governor to sign PORT Act to help those affected by bridge collapse

Governor Wes Moore (D-MD) announced late Monday that he would sign the Maryland Protecting Opportunities and Regional Trade Act into law on Tuesday. The PORT Act authorizes Maryland’s governor to provide key economic support to businesses and people impacted by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in March.

“Tomorrow, I will proudly sign the PORT Act into law,” Moore posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday night. “This legislation will support businesses and workers who have been affected by the Key Bridge’s collapse.”

The PORT Act would establish temporary relief programs to “provide assistance to specified individuals and businesses affected by the reduced operations of the Port of Baltimore.” The legislation allows Moore to finance such programs by accessing Maryland’s Revenue Stabilization Account, or “rainy day fund,” which is expected to have a balance of over $2.3 billion, based on the projections of the fiscal 2025 budget stated in the bill. 

“We’re proud of the fact that we as an administration and we as a state have been able to respond to the crisis of the Key Bridge, while also not losing sight that we have an aggressive legislative package that we have to get across the finish line, and we’re proud of the results,” Moore said on Monday afternoon. 

In addition to providing an economic stimulus to workers and businesses affected by the collapse, the PORT Act will also establish the “Fallen Transportation Workers Scholarship Program” for the families of the workers killed in the Key Bridge accident. 

The PORT Act unanimously passed Maryland’s Senate last week, 47-0, and was then sent to Maryland’s House of Delegates. On Monday night, Maryland’s House officially approved the PORT Act and sent it to Moore’s desk for approval. 

Once Moore officially signs it into law on Tuesday, the bill’s provisions will go into effect immediately. 

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