Maryland Governor Larry Hogan spent much of his virtual State of the State Address Wednesday night focusing upon the COVID-19 pandemic as he urged the General Assembly to pass his proposed $1-billion relief package. In his seventh address, Hogan also stressed the importance of getting students back into classrooms, making continued investments into education and reducing taxes to keep retired Marylanders in particular from leaving for other states.
“This crisis will not end overnight, but together we will bring it to an end. We will get our kids back to school, get people back to work, and get life back to normal once again,” Hogan said near the end of his remarks. “A better future is on the horizon where we can get back to doing the everyday things we all miss, like celebrating with friends and family at a crowded restaurant or taking our kids and grandkids to a baseball game. A better future where our kids are thriving, our communities are safer, and our economy is booming once again. We will get there, but we must continue looking out for one another and continue working together to build that better future.”
“Let’s continue to set a shining example for the rest of America by showing that we are Maryland Strong, that we refuse to succumb to the divisiveness and dysfunction that is infecting our national politics. Because the bonds that bind us together as Marylanders are greater than all that divides us.”
“We will get through this together, and Maryland will emerge stronger, better, and more resilient than ever before.”
State Senator Mary Beth Carozza, R- Eastern Shore, issued this statement:
Governor Hogan gave a positive speech and candid assessment of the challenges facing the State of Maryland as we work through COVID-19 Recovery. I believe the Governor is right to push the Maryland General Assembly to pass his Emergency COVID-19 RELIEF Act now, and to prioritize those funds to our hardest-hit constituents and small businesses. I agree that students should be returning safely back to the classrooms now, and we all know that it’s a top priority to increase the supply of vaccines across the State of Maryland.
One specific part of the Governor’s speech that really caught my attention was the need for not just short-term COVID-19 relief but the need for a strong, long-lasting economic recovery. That means NOT raising taxes and NOT adding more burdensome regulations on our struggling small businesses. That means providing incentives to keep our retirees here in Maryland with a tax cut for every single retired Marylander so they don’t move to other tax-friendly states.
We also heard the need for patience with the full-court effort to increase the production and supply of vaccines so every Marylander who wants the vaccine can receive it. It means all of us working together at every level government, private and public sector, to reach this goal as soon as possible. I believe the bottom line with the Governor’s State of the State is that we need to keep our focus so we can recover from COVID-19 and stay Maryland Strong.
Maryland House Minority Leader Nic Kipke, R- Anne Arundel Co., issued this statement:
We agree with Governor Hogan, citizens across our state have risen to the challenge to battle COVID-19, and we are in awe of the courage and creativity they have shown in this troubling time. It is time for the General Assembly to step up in a similar way and have the courage to truly help the citizens of Maryland by rejecting tax increases. This includes sustaining the Governor Hogan’s veto on the Digital Ads Tax that directly impacts Maryland’s small businesses. The General Assembly must also summon the will to stand with Maryland’s taxpayers and students and not only reject the bankrupting and outdated Kirwan bill but also move to open Maryland’s schools as quickly as possible.