Biography of Governor Martin O'Malley
Martin O’Malley is serving the people of Maryland in his second term as Governor. Since 2007, his Administration has been delivering results for Maryland families by choosing effective actions to create jobs, expand opportunity, and make Maryland a safer, healthier place.
The Baltimore Sun has hailed Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, writing that Maryland is “a stronger and more compassionate place than it was when they took office — our public schools are better, our colleges and universities are more affordable, our environment is cleaner, our streets are safer, more Marylanders are covered by health insurance (the website notwithstanding), and the state's fiscal situation is more stable despite the worst recession in decades."
With a balanced approach of spending cuts, regulatory reform, and modern investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure, Governor O’Malley and his Administration are making the better choices that deliver better results, shown in some national rankings such as:
- Best public schools in America for an unprecedented five years in a row (Education Week)
- #1 in the nation in holding down the cost of college tuition (College Board)
- #1 in Innovation and Entrepreneurship for three years running (U.S. Chamber of Commerce); and
- #1 in the nation in STEM Jobs (U.S. Chamber of Commerce).
Governor O’Malley has taken a balanced approach to investing in priorities in a fiscally responsible way. Called “arguably the best manager in government” by Washington Monthly magazine, Governor O’Malley has cut more state spending than any governor in modern Maryland history - $9.5 billion in cuts over 8 years. He reduced Maryland's executive branch to its smallest per capita size since 1973, and reformed the way state government is managed, to make it more efficient and accountable.
Working with the General Assembly, Governor O’Malley has strengthened Maryland's state pension system and made it more sustainable over the long term. His fiscal stewardship has made strong progress towards eliminating the $1.7 billion structural deficit he inherited in 2007.
He balanced these record cuts with targeted, modern investments in priorities like public education and infrastructure, while still lowering income tax bills for 86% of Marylanders. As a result, Maryland is one of only 17 states to recover 100 percent of the jobs lost during the national recession, and one of only seven states to maintain a AAA Bond Rating through the national recession.
Maryland has made record investments in public schools and to hold down the cost of college during Governor O’Malley’s tenure. The governor has also made targeted investments in Maryland’s workers and businesses: investing an additional $4.4 billion to put more than 57,000 people to work building Maryland’s roads, bridges, and transit projects; raising Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10; expanding the earned income tax credit; and establishing the nation’s first living wage in 2007. His efforts to streamline, consolidate, and digitize processes like business licensing are making Maryland an even better place to do business.
Governor O’Malley has taken strong action to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland. During his administration, Maryland met all of its Two-Year Chesapeake Bay Milestones, short-term goals designed to fuel long-term progress, and became an active participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation's first cap and trade program designed to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. Governor O'Malley has led the fight to increase renewable energy production in the State and expand energy efficiency opportunities to all Marylanders, resulting in millions of dollars in savings for consumers and businesses.
To protect the dignity of every child’s home—and ensure equal rights under the law for all Marylanders—Governor O’Malley signed Marriage Equality into law. He also signed the Maryland DREAM Act, which expands the opportunity for a college education to more Marylanders. In 2013, he signed a commonsense law to reduce gun violence. And during the 2014 legislative session, he signed legislation protecting the rights of transgender Marylanders.
Governor O’Malley served two terms as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association. He was appointed to the nation’s first-ever Council of Governors by President Obama in 2010, and was named co-chair of the Council in 2013. As a member of the National Governors Association, he spearheaded the creation of a Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety and served on it in a leadership capacity from 2009 until 2013.
Prior to serving as Governor, O’Malley served as Mayor of the City of Baltimore. Between 1999 and 2007 his policies helped the people of Baltimore achieve the greatest crime reduction of America’s largest cities.
Governor O’Malley received his bachelor’s degree from Catholic University and his law degree from the University of Maryland.
Martin and his wife, Katie, a District Court judge, have two daughters, Grace and Tara, and two sons, William and Jack. They are members of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.