Legislators chime in on Hogan’s State of the State Address
Governor Larry Hogan spoke before the 437th Session of the Maryland General Assembly on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 to present the annual State of the State address.
Hogan’s speech highlighted the progress that Maryland has made since he was first sworn into office two years ago as well as emphasizing the importance of education and economic growth in the state.
Flaunting the state’s stellar record for education, Hogan stated that one hundred percent of anticipated state aid for education is fully funded.
According to Hogan, two thirds of this year’s Maryland budget went towards funding education.
On top of standard educational funding, Hogan has dedicated an additional $17.5 million specifically for tuition relief, “so that 14 Maryland universities and colleges can now cap tuition growth at two percent, rather than the five percent they were proposing,” Governor Hogan said.
Hogan has also promised $7 million to give a limited number of children the chance to earn a scholarship to attend a private school. This legislation was proposed by Democratic leaders in the assembly last year, but Hogan’s budget adds $2 million to their proposed $5 million effort.
In addition to education, Hogan focused on eco-- nomic growth, stating, “I’m proud to report to you that Maryland has now moved into the top ten states in the nation for overall economic performance.”
According to Hogan’s address: Maryland has added 73,000 new jobs, the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.2 percent, more new manufacturing jobs have been created in Maryland than all the other states in the mid-Atlantic region combined and Maryland now ranks number eight in the nation in the rate of manufacturing growth.
Maryland is ranked as the fifth-most innovative state in America, and the state is also ranked third in the country in entrepreneurial business growth.
“Businesses are returning to – and expanding in – our state once again,” Hogan announced. “Maryland truly is ‘Open for Business’.”
Hogan also touched on the environmental cleanup initiatives his office has taken for the cleaning of the Chesapeake Bay as well as the on-going solution to the opioid epidemic.
Looking forward to another year of growth, Hogan repeated throughout the address that although the state was definitely improving, “but together, we can – and we must – do more.”
“To me, [this address] is probably the most promising one we in District Six have heard in a long time because we see a growth of jobs and a cut in taxes and fees,” Senator Johnny Ray Salling, Republican representative of District 6, said of the speech. “We finally see a governor who cares and is friendly. People and businesses were leaving the state and now they’re coming back and I firmly believe that this is because of the work we’ve seen Governor Hogan do.
“His promises have all been true, and that is what I like about him. He is a man of his word.”
“The state of the state was fabulous. The content was direct. The challenges were optimistic and the requests were fair,” Republican District 6 representative Ric Metzgar said. “I think it should affect us greatly in Baltimore County with TradePoint Atlantic and the vision he has to bring jobs.”
Metzgar indicated that he was pleased with Hogan’s push to address the opioid issue. “Like I said in the article I wrote last week,” Metgar said, “we need to get the heroin epidemic under control but once we get the opioid thing rolled out, we can get people off drugs”
Metzgar also added that he was against the legalization of marijuana, which was proposed in a bill that came to the assembly last week.
“It all comes back to families,” Metzgar explained. “Get jobs and families taken care of, and I think Baltimore County has a bright future ahead of us”
Delegates Bob Long and Robin Grammer, also Republicans from District 6, were unavailable for comment at press time.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan delivered his State of the State address last week, emphasizing improvements in education funding and job growth.