Bill Signing Ceremony
April 10, 2007
Good Afternoon everyone. Thank you all for being here today.
I want to thank President Miller and I want to thank Speaker Busch for their leadership and the very important work that went on this session.
This was a successful session. This was a session where we made progress, once again, for the people of our state.
I also want to thank Lt. Governor Brown for all of his hard work, having come up through the House of Delegates- his help, his leadership was invaluable, and he never stopped working.
It’s the sort of thing that sometimes doesn’t make the headlines but the fact that he was in there, right up until the end, working as hard as he possibly could to bring about consensus and move us forward, Lieutenant Governor, I really want to thank you for your hard work in this session.
This was a session where we found consensus in order to advance the common good. And together, we have made progress on a lot of big challenges that we have – we’ve made a lot of great progress on education, not only in the funding of education and affordable college education but also on school construction.
And this was a phenomenally positive session for the health of the Bay and the sake of the environment, probably no issue more underscores that notion of the common good than the health of our environment, whether it was in full funding of open space, whether it was the Clean Cars act or many other things, we really made some phenomenal progress.
And, it’s because of partnership, you know, it’s the only way that lasting change happens. It’s through partnership that’s finding consensus to advance the common good, and we’re going to continue that progress today.
I also want to thank members of the Senate, Mr. President, who unanimously confirmed every single one of the new appointees to this cabinet. They are a terrific group of human beings, both the Senate and the new cabinet, and I want to thank you for your leadership and support there.
We have a couple of important bills that we’re signing when it comes to making government work.
One of them is StateStat, where we are going to apply performance measurement to the workings of our government, and the other one is the BRAC Subcabinet, which Lieutenant Governor will chair, and he is going to have a couple of words to say about that shortly.
Through StateStat – we are going to do everything we can to make our government more open and transparent – so that we understand what things are working, what things are not working, and how we can maximize the investment that the hard working people of our State make in the important work of state government.
It is going to be our foundation for restoring accountability and for driving our progress.
And our new BRAC Subcabinet will bring together all of the various stakeholders to make sure that that growth that is coming to our state because of the base realignments is growth that we harness for good. In other words, that we make sure that we harness that growth so that we not only gain the benefit of those new jobs, but that we also maintain our quality of life at the same time.
And under Lt. Governor Brown’s leadership, we are going to protect our open space, invest in our critical infrastructure, and hopefully use that growth to rebuild our cities and towns.
I also want to thank Del Bohanan, Del Rudolph, Del James and Del Love, and also Senator Jacobs and Senator Dyson, for stepping up on this legislation.
Today, we will also be signing the Darfur Protection Act to make clear our commitment to peace and justice in Darfur, and to live up to our responsibility to do everything that we can to make this world a better place through our own actions.
In the end, today’s bill signing is another cornerstone in making our government work and in bringing people together for that great cause. We have brought that spirit of compromise and consensus back to Annapolis. And on those issues where we were not able to agree this session, I think at the very least, we were able to disagree in a way that made people proud that they sent representatives here who could debate the issues, rather than attacking one another.
So, I know we have a lot of hard days ahead of us, we are going to tackle tough challenges in the months and years ahead having to do with Maryland’s fiscal health and that structural deficit, but we have it within us to be able to tackle these challenges, we absolutely and positively do…