He delivered the speech on Wed. at the State House.
Annapolis, Md (KM). Calling for more bipartisanship, Governor Larry Hogan urged lawmakers to work together to resolve Maryland’s problems. During his fourth State of the State of the State Address, Hogan said he has pushed for working in a bipartisan manner since he was inaugurated as Governor in 2015. “We worked hard to usher in a new spirit of bipartisanship in Annapolis and to create an environment of trust and cooperation where the best ideas rise to the top based upon their merit regardless of which side of the aisle they come from,” he said.
Since this is an election year, the Governor touted the accomplishments of his Administration. “Three years ago, our most pressing task was to grow the private sector, put more people work, make Maryland more competitive and turn our economy around. And that is exactly what we have done,” he said.
The state’s chief executive also urged legislators to work together across party lines to address any impact the federal tax law enacted in December will have on Marylanders. “We may not be able to control what they do in Washington, but we certainly can come together in Annapolis to ensure that this money remains in the pockets of Maryland citizens where it belongs,” he said, to applause in the State House.
In the Democratic response, State Senator Nancy King said she and her party are way ahead of the Governor on this issue. “Federal tax changes will trigger $1.2-billion state and local tax increases. General Assembly Democrats identified a solution which rolls back this massive tax hike and has broad bipartisan support,” she said. “We’re moving quickly to put a bill on Governor Hogan’s desk.”
But she took issue with a claim by the Governor that he has increased funding for public education. “Under the Hogan Administration, our public schools have dropped from best in the nation to sixth overall. When faced with tough budget decisions, he has cut public education funding time and again, and this is not acceptable.”
However, one area legislator had praise for Governor Hogan’s State of the State Address. “State of the State is very strong, ” says Washington County Delegate Paul Corderman (R). “State of Maryland here is doing very well under the leadership of Larry Hogan.”
He also responded to Democrats who say it was campaign speech, noting that Hogan is running for a second term as Governor. “They may be a little threatened, so to speak, as far as the success and popularity our Governor has had. When you show that you put parties aside and focus on policy, that’s good for all of Maryland. That resonates with our residents and our voters,” he said. Corderman also predicted Governor Hogan will be re-elected.
Even though his veto of a paid sick leave bill was overridden by the General Assembly, Hogan, in his State of State Address, called for passage of his paid sick leave bill. “Let’s put aside the politics and work together to fix this flawed legislation. Don’t let a bad bill kill good, small businesses and jobs. Pass our proposal to provide tax incentives for our small businesses to help offset the costs of providing these benefits to their employees,” the Governor said
In his speech, Hogan talked about a young man from the Eastern Shore named Chad who seemed to be getting over his addictions. But he died of an opioid overdose. With Chad’s family in the audience, Hogan said the state needs to continue to fight opioid addictions. “No matter hard it is, we cannot ever give up this fight,” he said.
By Kevin McManus