In “promising but uncertain” times, Governor calls for “the right choices and investments to create jobs”
ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 3, 2011)– Governor Martin O’Malley delivered his fifth State of the State address today before members of the Maryland General Assembly, invited guests, and the people of Maryland. In his address, Governor O’Malley focused on the tough choices to move Maryland forward by spurring innovation to create jobs. The Governor highlighted real progress and his fiscally responsible plan to balance Maryland’s budget, but cautioned that “there is more we can do, and for the sake of our children’s future, there is more we must do.”
Governor O’Malley outlined his innovation agenda for the State of Maryland during including innovation in education, public safety, science, discovery, healing, manufacturing and trade, public health, and our natural resources.
“We live in a very different world than the one we inherited from our parents are grandparents. Times are changing, and states must adapt to win,” said Governor O’Malley. “The State of our State is stronger today than it was even a year ago, but better isn’t good enough. To make this new economy ours, we must make the right choices and investments to create jobs by spurring innovation.”
Even in difficult economic times, Maryland continues to perform better than other states.
- One of only eight states to maintain the coveted Triple A bond rating.
- Foreclosures are down 76% on the year.
- The 26,000 jobs created last year was the best year of job creation since before the start of the national recession.
- For the third straight year, Education Week magazine ranked Maryland’s public schools #1 in the nation.
- Kiplinger’s lists the University of Maryland, College Park, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Salisbury University, Towson University and University of Maryland, Baltimore County among America’s best values.
Governor O’Malley noted the tough choices that were made to continue on a fiscally responsible path for a stronger future.
- Cut $5.6 billion in spending with another $1 billion in proposed spending reductions this year.
- Reduced the size of government to a lower level than four years ago, cutting more than 4,000 state positions.
- Amidst declining revenues, defended record funding for Maryland’s K-12 public schools the last four years.
- Only state in the nation to freeze college tuition at zero percent increase for four years in a row.
“Notwithstanding the limitations of this year’s budget, all that we need to build a better future is right here,” Governor O’Malley said. “Moving forward is not just about today’s budget math, it’s about tomorrow’s better Maryland. There are costs and there are values. I believe in the better future that our children deserve. And I believe in the goodness of a Maryland that is willing to make it so.”
Creating Jobs through Education
“Innovation is key, and the foundation of innovation is education. It’s one of the most important investments we make together,” Governor O’Malley said. “And when this economy recovers, we’ll do even more for public education. In the meantime – in these lean times – we will make that same all-time high level of investment.”
“To make this new economy ours, we must make college more affordable for more families. Because of your tough choices, we are making some solid progress. “Access to college is important, but completing college is essential in this knowledge-based economy. That’s the goal of Complete College Maryland, which I hope you will support in this year’s budget.”
Creating Jobs with Innovation
Governor O’Malley said: “No family can make real progress without a job. In our State, where there is no such thing as a spare Marylander, the most important job we create is the next one. No state is better positioned than we are to transform global challenges into the jobs and opportunities of the new economy.”
“This year, we can take action to grow the next MedImmune or Human Genome Sciences. ThroughInvestMaryland, you and I have the opportunity to unlock $100 million in venture capital. Why does this matter? Because seed and early stage money have all but dried up in the national recession.
Passing this legislation can be the difference between running ahead or running in place.
The lack of capital is one barrier to job creation. Bureaucratic red tape is another. This year we launched Maryland Made Easy to simplify and streamline the business licensing and permitting process in our State. There are things we can do to get government out of the way without compromising our environment.”
Creating Jobs by Rebuilding our Infrastructure
Governor O’Malley noted needed improvements to our physical and cyber infrastructures: “Together, in so many ways, we are building a 21st Century cyber-infrastructure. Our Health Information Exchange and interoperable communications network will protect public health and public safety. The statewide rural broadband network we’re building will connect every county in Maryland to the information superhighway – thanks to President Obama and our congressional delegation.”
“To connect to the infrastructure of a stronger future, we are working together to grow smarter: protecting more open space, and advancing strategies like Transit Oriented Development. We must realize that where we choose to sleep, eat, and live effects our environment and our Bay. Together, we’ve made great progress in recent years, reducing farm run-off, reducing pollution from sewage treatment plants, and – most recently – reducing pollution from storm water run-off. But there is one area of reducing pollution where so far we have totally failed,… and that is pollution from the proliferation of septic systems. You and I can put a stop to this by banning septic systems in major Maryland developments. This isn’t radical, it’s common sense statute based on what several counties have already done.”
Creating Green Jobs
“We set one of the most ambitious goals for renewable energy in America, but so far we’re not on pace to meet it. This isn’t going to happen simply because we set this big goal or because it’s a good idea,” Governor O’Malley said. “I need your support for the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act not only to create more renewable energy in Maryland, not only to reduce greenhouse emissions in Maryland, but to jumpstart the creation of thousands of green manufacturing, assembly and servicing jobs on the shores and waters of Maryland.”
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