Gov. Hogan praises state, local accomplishments at MML
Brookview mayor receives Hall of Fame honors
OCEAN CITY — Gov. Larry Hogan delivered remarks to a packed ballroom at the Maryland Municipal League summer conference, hosted at the Ocean City Convention Center on Tuesday, June 27.
Among his comments, Hogan announced two new executive orders signed on Tuesday.
One executive order creates a new state agency called Office of Rural Broadband.
The Office of Rural Broadband will work with local governments, tri-county councils, and key agencies and stakeholders, including the Maryland Broadband Cooperative, to provide statewide access to highspeed internet.
The office will coordinate efforts with the Maryland Rural Council on the Connecting Rural Maryland Act of 2017, a bill sponsored by Eastern Shore representatives Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, and Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot. The goal of the bill, passed this past legislative session, is to connect federal resources with locales to bolster efforts to get high-speed internet in rural areas where residents struggle with slow internet connections.
“This new Office of Rural Broadband will ensure that everyone in Maryland will finally be able to have access to high-speed Internet,” Hogan said.
Another executive order repeals the Zero Waste Plan for Maryland, a policy set by former Gov. Martin O’Malley as he was leaving office.
As for the Zero Waste Plan, Hogan said the burdensome plan would be replaced by a “common sense, balanced approach” to waste management and recycling, in response from complaints by local governments on the policy.
Hogan also highlighted a laundry list of facts and figures to demonstrate the improvement seen across the state, in many sectors, during his time in office thus far.
“A little over two and a half years ago, I stood on the steps of our historic state house in Annapolis and promised to put our state on a new path,” Hogan said. “We said that we were going to grow our private sector, put more people to work and turn our economy around — and we have been doing exactly what we said we would do. Today, our state economy is stronger than it has been in more than a decade, and the Maryland Municipal League has been a great partner in that progress.”
The governor said Maryland recently was declared one of the most innovative states in the nation, ranked third for entrepreneurial business growth, third for research and development intensity, second for concentration of STEM employment and second for highest share of technology companies. Overall, Maryland was ranked as the eighth best state in the nation, according to U.S. News
and World Report, based on data in 68 categories.
Maryland also boasts the highest median household income among the states, and the second lowest percentage of people living below the poverty line, Hogan said.
“To continue that progress, we have made critical investments in our local communities, including, most recently, major important downtown revitalization projects in Salisbury, Cumberland and Hagerstown, just to name a few,” he said.
The governor called on the members of MML to join with the administration to fight the ongoing heroin and opioid epidemic.
“In March, we became the first state in the nation to declare a state of emergency in response to this rapid escalation of the crisis,” Hogan said. “I delegated emergency powers to state and local emergency management officials, so that we could fast-track coordination among state and local agencies, and we committed an additional $50 million in funding.
“This is a fight worth fighting, but it’s going to take all of us working together — federal, state, county, municipal, community leaders, faith-based organizations, neighborhoods and families,” he said. “It’s an all hands on deck approach, but together we can save thousands of lives here in Mar yland.”
To conclude, Hogan promised to continue diligently in his work and give his all to the job of governing the State of Maryland.
In addition to the governor’s remarks, the MML inducted 10 new Hall of Fame members Tuesday evening, including one official from the small town of Brookview in Dorchester County.
Richard Sullivan has served as mayor of Brookview since 1996, a total of 21 years. The Hall of Fame honors those who have served a minimum of 20 years in public service as an elected municipal official. Sullivan was nominated by other municipal officials.
Gov. Larry Hogan speaks Tuesday, June 27, at the Maryland Municipal League annual summer conference.