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The special session is to last just a few days — the deadline to put anything on the November ballot is Aug. 20 — and Mr. Rosapepe is a realist.

“Our proposal is not the plan, it’s a constitutional amendment,” he said. “Instead of raising taxes and then figuring out how to spend the money, we’ll put together a proposal for a major transportation investment, cost it out, how much are we going to have to borrow, and take it to the voters in a referendum.”

Mr. Rosapepe said he had spoken to the governor about the idea in a letter several months ago and mentioned it to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., Prince George’s Democrat.

“It’s a new idea, and new ideas take time, but I think people understand traditional ways are not working,” he said.