State of the state: Live

State of the state: Live

Gov. Larry Hogan is delivering his final State of the State address of his four-year term today in Annapolis.

  • Gov. Larry Hogan is set to give his annual State of the State address today.

    While governors typically use the occasion to tout their successes in office, it also offers an opportunity to provide an annual check-up on the health of the state using publicly available data.

    In several ways, Maryland seems better off since Hogan, a Republican, took office in 2015. The state’s economy is doing better. Fewer people are out of work. And more people are earning college degrees.

    But in other areas — particularly crime and drug overdoses — the state is struggling.

  • Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the General Assembly, distinguished guests, and my fellow Marylanders: 
    Three years ago, when I first had the honor of standing before this assembly to report on the state of our state, Maryland was at a critical turning point.
    Our state economy was floundering and lagging behind the rest of the nation.
    Maryland was losing businesses, jobs and taxpayers at an alarming rate.
    Too many of our families and small businesses were struggling just to make ends meet.
    The people of Maryland had become frustrated with politics as usual.
    Our state was at a crossroads, and we faced a pivotal choice:
    A choice between continuing in the same direction or putting Maryland on a new and better path.
    And all of us had to make a choice between serving a political party or serving the people of Maryland.
    One need only look to Washington to see the destruction that is caused when hyper-partisanship and inflammatory rhetoric permeate the debate and erode our faith in the institutions of government.
    When I stood on the steps of this historic State House three years ago to give my inaugural address, I said that “The politics that have divided our nation need not divide our state.” And I warned against “Wedge politics and petty rhetoric used to belittle our adversaries and to inflame partisan divisions.”
    I reminded Marylanders that our state was better than that.
    Our history proved that we were better.
    And for the past three years we have been.
    We’ve 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.
    Time and again, we have chosen to engage in thoughtful and civil debate.
    We have risen above the fray of partisan politics, and we have chosen to seek common sense bipartisan solutions to the serious problems that faced us.
  • Out state of the economy was floundering
    Maryland had experienced a sharp economic downturn in 2012-2013 due to the federal budget sequester, but Virginia fared worse, and our economy was growing again by the time Governor Hogan took office. It has grown faster since, though.
  • Full text: Gov. Hogan delivers Maryland State of the State

    Gov. Larry Hogan is delivering his final State of the State address of his four-year term on Wednesday in Annapolis.
  • We are living up to the great potential and promise of our state, and together, we are changing Maryland for the better.
    Because of that, I am pleased to report that today the state of our state is stronger than it has been in decades, and we are forging an even stronger and brighter future for Maryland.
  •  changing Maryland for the better.
    This is the Hogan version of "make America great again," minus the hats.
  • Through internal struggle and outward chaos, we have not faltered.
    We have made progress with courage and with clarity of purpose, and our citizens are more pleased with the job that we are doing and the direction that we are heading than they have ever been before.
    Together we have been doing what Marylanders do best: We are leading by our actions and by our example, and ladies and gentlemen, we cannot afford to turn back now.
    Three years ago, our most pressing task was to grow the private sector, put more people to work, make Maryland more competitive, and to turn our economy around.
    And that is exactly what we have done.
  • outward chaos
    In last year's State of the State address, Governor Hogan made no reference whatsoever to the Trump administration.
  • The day after I was sworn in, we submitted the first balanced budget in a decade, which eliminated nearly all of the $5.1 billion dollar structural deficit which we inherited.
    We did it while cutting taxes three years in a row.
  • we submitted the first balanced budget in a decade
    By law, Maryland's budget (and that of every state except Vermont) must be balanced every year. It always has been.
  •  structural deficit which we inherited.
    The "structural deficit" means the projected gap between ongoing revenues and ongoing expenses. It has shrunk during Governor Hogan's term, but it isn't eliminated. Mr. Hogan's own fiscal 2019 budget document predicts $4.4 billion in general fund deficits over the next four years. Governor O'Malley's last budget projected $574 million in deficits over the subsequent four years.
  • We did it while cutting taxes three years in a row.
    Governor Hogan campaigned on a pledge to roll back O'Malley tax increases. He has been able to make some targeted tax reductions (for example, to certain retirement income), but he has not even attempted to reverse the O'Malley sales and income tax increases, and he made only a half-hearted attempt at rolling back the gas tax increase before going on a state-wide ribbon cutting spree with the proceeds of that levy.
  • Some analysis of numbers from Gov. Hogan's term. Read the full piece here.

    Unemployment rate

    As jobs have increased, the ranks of the jobless have shrunk. Mirroring a national trend, unemployment has declined steadily in Maryland. In December 2014, 5.5 percent of Marylanders were unemployed. Today just 4 percent are.

  • And we’ve put all that money back into the pockets of hardworking Marylanders, retirees, and small businesses and back into our growing economy, which has helped us create an incredible economic resurgence in our state.
    Businesses are now returning to and expanding in Maryland once again.
    We had the best year for business in Maryland in 15 years and the best year for job growth in a decade. We went from losing 100,000 jobs to gaining more than 110,000 jobs.
    We’ve had the fastest job growth in the mid-Atlantic region and one of the strongest economic turnarounds in America.
    Maryland truly is open for business.
    We are fourth among all 50 states for entrepreneurial business growth. We have the second lowest percentage of people living below the poverty level in the nation, and we have the highest median household income in America.
    On growing jobs and our state economy, Maryland is leading by action and by example, and we cannot afford to turn back now.
     
  • This year, let’s work together to protect hardworking Marylanders from the impact that the federal tax overhaul will have on Maryland’s state and local taxes.
    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.
     
  • the impact that the federal tax overhaul
    Last night, President Trump extolled the virtues of the tax reform bill he and the Republican Congress passed. Mr. Hogan is not even suggesting it will be a factor in the state's economic growth but is rather treating it as a problem that must be addressed.
  • Some analysis of numbers from Gov. Hogan's term. Read the full piece here.

    Jobs

    In the past three years, Maryland has added more than 138,000 jobs.

    In December of 2014, the state had roughly 2.96 million people employed. Today there are more than 3.1 million people employed, according to state data.
  • And we can protect Marylanders from health insurance rate increases caused by the failures in Washington. Let’s develop bipartisan solutions to stabilize rates.
    Last year we worked together with you to enact the More Jobs for Marylanders Act, which has encouraged and incentivized manufacturers to create more jobs where we needed them the most.
    And we worked together to enact the Hometown Heroes Act of 2017.
    This year, let’s work to pass the More Jobs for Marylanders Act 2.0 to expand the reach of this successful program to additional jurisdictions and to other business sectors.
    Let’s expand the Hometown Heroes Act to include our correctional officers, and this year, let’s finally move forward on our bill to eliminate taxes on the retirement income of our military veterans.
    We agree on providing paid sick leave to more Marylanders.
    But 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.
  • And we can protect Marylanders from health insurance rate increases caused by the failures in Washington. 

     

    Another contrast with President Trump, who hailed the end of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate. Governor Hogan again isn't saying the president's name or explaining what he means by "failures in Washington," but those failures are what his party considers great successes. More careful positioning from a Republican running for re-election in a blue state.
  • Pass our proposal to provide tax incentives for our small businesses to help offset the costs of providing these benefits to their employees.
    We don’t want Annapolis to become like Washington, where bad policy is passed with a promise that a fix will come later.
    This issue is much too important and the impact is too far-reaching for us to risk getting it wrong.
  • Pass our proposal to provide tax incentives for our small businesses to help offset the costs of providing these benefits to their employees.

    This was a unique idea Mr. Hogan proposed last year that the legislature didn't seriously consider at all. Perhaps if the governor suggested how he would pay for it, he'd get farther on this one.
  • Some analysis of numbers from Gov. Hogan's term. Read the full piece here.

    Education

    Several key educational statistics point in a positive direction as well. More Marylanders are earning high school and college degrees than in 2014.

    From 2014 to 2016, the number of Marylanders with at least a bachelor’s degree increased from 37.3 percent to 38.4 percent. Those with a high school degree ticked up from 89 to 89.6 percent, according to Census data.

    Meanwhile, the percentage of high school students who fared well on Advanced Placement tests increased from 61 percent in 2014 to 63 percent in 2017.

  • For three straight years we have delivered record investments in education.
    This year, let’s continue that historic trend and do it for the fourth straight year.
    Our budget provides an unprecedented $6.5 billion for K-12 education, which is more than the legislative funding formulas call for.
    We ensured that every single school system in Maryland will receive increased funding from the state.
    Our capital budget invests an additional $365 million for school construction funding, the largest investment in school construction in a decade.
    Fully 70 percent of our capital budget is dedicated to education.
     
  • For three straight years we have delivered record investments in education.
    Thanks to funding formula mandates, that is virtually always true for every governor.
  • Let’s ensure that every single child in Maryland has access to a world-class education, regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in.
    Maryland is home to America’s most educated workforce, with the highest concentration of doctoral scientists and engineers in the nation.
    We are third in the nation for research and development intensity, second among all 50 states for concentration of STEM employment, and we were recently named the most innovative state in America.
    On education, Maryland is leading by action and by example, and we cannot afford to turn back now.
     
  • Let’s ensure that every single child in Maryland has access to a world-class education, regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in.
    The Kirwan Commission is busily finalizing its recommendations for just how to accomplish that. They're due shortly after the session ends in April, and they're expected to come with a nine-figure price tag. We'll see what Governor Hogan and his rivals have to say about that when the time comes to propose how to pay for that.
  • Let’s work together to pass the Protect Our Students Act of 2018, because the status quo is simply not good enough for Maryland’s children.
    Let’s work together to make our schools more accountable by passing the Accountability in Education Act of 2018.
    No child should have to pay the price for the mistakes of adults who have failed them.
    This is too important to play politics. This is about our children and their futures. It’s about giving every Maryland child opportunities and a hope for a better future.
     
  • Let’s work together to pass the Protect Our Students Act of 2018, because the status quo is simply not good enough for Maryland’s children.
    This is a bill that would effectively undo a teacher union-backed bill from last year that constrained the state's ability to evaluate schools based on student test scores for federal accountability purposes. We supported Mr. Hogan's veto of the bill last year, but we don't expect he'll have much more luck passing his legislation this year than he did in stopping the legislature from overriding him last year.
  • Let’s work together to make our schools more accountable by passing the Accountability in Education Act of 2018.
    The governor wants to create an inspector general for education with wide-ranging powers to investigate everything from procurement to cheating scandals. Expect the teachers union to balk at this one, too.
  • When it comes to rebuilding Maryland’s transportation infrastructure, we are moving forward with nearly all of the highest priority transportation projects in every single jurisdiction all across Maryland.
    We are making record investments for innovative traffic relief with major improvements to the Baltimore Beltway, I-95, the Capital Beltway, Route 270, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
    We have nearly 1,000 projects totaling $9 billion currently under construction from one corner of the state to the other, and we have already repaved 8,000 lane-miles – more than one-third of the entire state highway system.
    Construction of the long-anticipated Purple Line is underway, which represents the largest public-private transit project in the nation.
  • Some analysis of numbers from Gov. Hogan's term. Read the full piece here.

    Environment

    The health of the Chesapeake Bay has improved slightly since 2014, though the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science still gives it a C grade. Ecological indicators with the strongest improvement include the abundance of underwater grasses and the population of blue crabs, though both have been helped by favorable weather patterns in recent years.
     
    However, the number of days during which smog levels exceeded health standards has been steadily rising since 2014, from 11 that year to 26 in 2016, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment. But again, scientists say those statistics are heavily influenced by weather, and they are significantly below figures from 2005 through 2012, when as many as 40 to 70 days a year exceeded the current smog standards.
  • When it comes to rebuilding Maryland’s transportation infrastructure, we are moving forward with nearly all of the highest priority transportation projects in every single jurisdiction all across Maryland.
     
    Except for the Red Line in Baltimore, of course.
  • We are making record investments for innovative traffic relief with major improvements to the Baltimore Beltway, I-95, the Capital Beltway, Route 270, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
     
    Many of these touted improvements rely on as-yet-undefined public-private partnerships that would be vastly beyond the scope of anything Maryland has done before. They raise major questions about long-term costs to motorists and taxpayers.
  • We have been breaking records at the Port of Baltimore for three straight years, and BWI Marshall has become the number one airport in the region and one of the most thriving airports in the nation.
    On transportation infrastructure, Maryland is leading by action and by example, and we cannot afford to turn back now.
    We have fully funded the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and Program Open Space.
    We brought all the stakeholders together and hammered out a compromise phosphorus management solution that is one of the most significant initiatives to clean up the Bay in a generation.
    As chairman of the six-state Chesapeake Executive Council, I have been leading the fight to protect and restore federal funding for the Bay, and our administration has committed $4 billion dollars toward wide-ranging initiatives to protect the Bay.
     
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