As Prepared for Delivery
Thank you Cyndy [Scott]. Larry Letow, thank you for your work through the Tech Council, and through Convergence Technology.
I always love the opportunity to meet with all of you at the Tech Council, because you understand more than most the connection between job creation, opportunity, and the modern investments we make through our government to educate, to innovate, and to rebuild our State’s infrastructure – our schools, our roads, our bridges, our water and wastewater and also cyber infrastructure.
President Bill Clinton recently wrote an insightful book, called Back To Work. One of the points he makes is that, “nobody can take the future away from us. But we can take it away from ourselves.”
We have all the assets in this State that we need to create the jobs and expand the opportunities of this changing new economy. The question is whether we have the will to make the right choices. China isn’t going to come in here and build our statewide One Maryland Broadband network for us. India isn’t going to replace our temporary learning shacks by building us modern classrooms.
Why can’t government be run more like a business? There are not many, if any businesses that I can think of, that are able to make money without also investing money.
To create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments. This isn’t a Democratic or Republican idea, it’s an economic and a historic truth – and it’s a truth we must reawaken in our neighbors and ourselves, if we are going to succeed in creating jobs here in Maryland, instead of letting opportunities slip away to other countries and other states.
And so tonight, I’d like to share with you a few thoughts about jobs, about opportunity,… and about making the modern investments to create jobs, expand opportunity, and bring the future home to us.
Maryland’s economy is an Innovation Economy. All sectors are not created equally. Biotech, clean-tech, green-tech, information technology, cyber security, aerospace, advanced manufacturing – you and your colleagues have a critically important role to play.
These are not easy times, but make no mistake, in Maryland we are at the forefront of our nation’s job creation. Why can we say that? Today, we have now recovered 43% of the jobs we lost during the national recession. The country as a whole has recovered 28%. Last year through November, the people of our State created 27,000 net new jobs – two and a half times as many as our neighbors in Virginia. Our businesses alone created eight and a half times as many private sector jobs.
We are one of only nine states which continues to defend a Triple A Bond Rating, certified by all three agencies. The Milken Institute ranks Maryland as one of America’s Top 2 states for science and technology; the Kauffman Index ranks Maryland as one of the 3 states best positioned to win in the new economy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks Maryland as a Top 5 state for growth. According the Ernst & Young, Maryland has the 12th lowest tax burden on new investment,…
And for not one, not two, not three, but four years in a row, Education Week magazine says that together, you and I have built America’s #1 best public schools.
MODERN INVESTMENTS: EDUCATION & INNOVATION
Job creation in an Innovation Economy, requires leveraging our most important asset: the talents, skills, ingenuity and creativity of our people.
Thirty years ago – when I graduated from high school – the United States ranked #1 in high school graduation rates among our global competitors. Today we’ve slipped to 11th,… Thirty years ago, America ranked #1 in college completion. Today we’ve slipped to #12,… Meanwhile, ten years ago our students ranked 15th in math. In just ten years they’ve slipped to 24th. In science, our students have gone from 12th to 16th.
It’s not what other countries are doing to us. It’s what we’re not doing for ourselves.
For the last decade we’ve been severely under-capitalizing the idea of America. We have been under-investing in that common platform of job creation and opportunity expansion called the United States.
To create jobs and bring the future home to us, here in Maryland, we have to make the modern investments our modern economy requires.
Our proposed budget for FY2013 is hot off the presses – we announced it just a few hours ago. It’s a jobs-budget which does more for job creation than any in our State’s recent history. To accomplish this, we propose a series of modern investments in job creation, balanced with revenues and $800 million in cuts,… a balanced approach.
With your help, we will protect the progress we’ve made together on a number of our other shared priorities like the Biotech Tax Credit and the R&D credit. And with a proposed $10.4 million investment in Stem Cell Research, we will raise our six-year total to nearly $102 million.
On education, we propose a record $5 billion in operating funding for our #1 ranked public schools, as well as a $373 million capital investment to support 11,600 jobs through school construction. For higher ed, we want to invest $289 in our community and four-year colleges and universities.
As we invest we’re also putting a renewed focus on strengthening our workforce with the skills to compete,… While we’ve driven unemployment down 20% lower than the national rate, there is a dichotomy in our State and throughout our country between unacceptably high unemployment and businesses which cannot find adequately skilled workers. One of the ways we change this is by reinvigorating education in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math.
Our goal is to increase the number of STEM college graduates in Maryland 40% by 2015. So far we’re more than half way there at 22%. Through initiatives like the STEM Innovation Network, we’re bringing together the business community, educators, government, higher education, non-profits and other stakeholders – setting up STEM teachers with mentors from industries like biotech, cyber security, and green technology.
MODERN INVESTMENTS: INFRASTRUCTURE
These investments will ultimately be for naught, if we neglect to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure.
Today, 106 of our bridges are structurally deficient. Meanwhile, over the past three decades, our land consumption has increased by 154%, at a time when our population has grown by 39%. Over the next twenty-five years, we’re expected to grow by a million more. The infrastructure which supports this growth is not free; and in fact, it’s becoming increasingly more expensive to build and maintain. It actually cost us more to paint the first span of the Bay Bridge than it did to build it in the 1950s. We cannot eat cake and lose weight. We cannot build a $90 million bridge for $10 million. Bridges are not like trees. They do not grow stronger with age.
If we neglect transportation, we end up paying in so many other ways. We pay in lost productivity. We pay by sitting in traffic on some sections of 495 that look a lot more like a parking lot than they look like a highway. We pay in an underemployed, immobilized workforce. We pay in damage to our environment.
And so this session we will be asking the people of our State to help us move forward in this regard. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help.
CROSSING THE DELTA OF OPPORTUNITY
We are in better shape than other states, but one of the great things about this Tech Council is that you don’t settle for “better” – and in your state government neither do we. Better isn’t good enough.
When I talk to you and your colleagues in business, time and again you tell me that to create jobs you need the combination of a highly skilled workforce, and a regulatory environment that is streamlined, stable and predictable.
Working together with the business community, we’ve launched an initiative called Maryland Made Easy to cut down on red tape so businesses can spend more time creating jobs, and less time doing paperwork.
This session we will be asking the General Assembly to either repeal or reform more than 100 state regulations, so that together we can accelerate job creation and make our State an easier place to do business.
Another issue that you and I have discussed together is how we can cross the delta of opportunity which exists between the research dollars flowing into our state, and our ability to commercialize this research into new jobs, opportunity and economic growth.
The fact of the matter is that we rank #1 in research and development per capita but only 37th in commercialization of that research into the new jobs of the new economy.
Last year, to cross this delta, you helped us create InvestMaryland. The first tax credit auction is scheduled to take place in March, with new venture funding available to companies this summer.
This year, we will seek to further technology transfer – and build upon some groundbreaking actions currently underway at Johns Hopkins and our state universities. Our goal is to get dozens of technologies out of the labs and into the marketplace within this next year – and in the coming weeks we’ll be sharing an announcement with you on a new proposal. Stay tuned, as they say.
General Electric has a slogan “innovation today for America’s tomorrow.” Perhaps, in our case, it should be “innovation today for both today and tomorrow.” To create jobs and opportunity now, and to bring our future home to us.