Governor Moore Delivers Second State Of State Address

He talked about public safety, and making Maryland more ‘business friendly.’

Gov Wes Moore Deliver State of State Address, Feb. 7th, 2024  (AP Photo)

Annapolis, Md (KM) The State of the State is strong, according to Maryland Governor Wes Moore. He spoke to legislators gathered at the State House Wednesday for the State of the State Address.

He said more than 40,000 new jobs have been created, and the state has the lowest unemployment rate in the country for the fifth month in a row.

While he said crime was down, Governor Moore said improving public safety is still a top concern. “We will protect Marylanders where they live, where they work, where they worship and where they go to school.  And hate has no home in the state of Maryland,” Moore said to the sound of applause.

But he pointed out that public safety is not an either-or approach, such as whether there should be safe streets or strong communities, or holding criminals accountable,  or rehabilitation. The Governor said public safety involves hearing from everyone involved. “We will listen to law enforcement, and we will listen to the communities that they protect. We will listen to state’s attorneys and we will listen to the public defenders. We will listen to elected leaders, and we will listen to local advocates,” he said. “We’re up against a new challenge and we need to come up with these new solutions.”

He also told assembled delegates and state senators that citizens want something done about gun violence. “And I’m proud that Maryland will be the first state to answer the call by President Biden to launch a statewide center for firearm violence prevention and intervention, and we will deal with this issue,” Moore told a cheering audience.

Other topics addressed by the Governor during his State of the State Address included making child care more affordable. “As the cost of child care increases, overall female employment decreases by five percent, ” the Governor said, citing a study by the Comptroller’s Office outlining the affordability problems  Maryland .families face. “And that’s why our proposed budget includes  the single largest investment for funding of child care in Maryland’s history.”

Moore said this funding will support 45,000 children without raising taxes.

Another topic brought up by the Governor was the lack of affordable housing. “Most Marylanders in rental properties put a third of their monthly paycheck toward rent. Many can no longer afford to live in a home in the same neighborhood that they grew up in. Our state faces a problem of supply and demand. Prices go up because we do not have enough homes,”: he said.

Governor Moore said he has assembled the most comprehensive housing package that  any Maryland administration has put together in years. “We will create new financial tools to drive development and redevelopment in communities that need it most,” he said.

On another topic, the Governor said the state will invest in the industries of the future:  biotech, life sciences, data centers and cyber. He said he wants to make Maryland the friendliest  state to start a business.

“Now is the time to drive economic growth in all of our communities, including our communities of color,” he said. “Now is the time to eliminate the racial wealth gap, and we are going to be unapologetic about it.”

Moore also promised to fully fund Maryland’s Blueprint for the Future, an educational reform plan.

The Governor closed out his address by saying “This will be Maryland’s  decade. Not because we say so, but because we make is so–together.”

By Kevin McManus