Post - Session Bill Signing
April 13, 2010
Thank you all very much,… It’s an honor to serve a great people and to do so with great people. And that begins with Lt. Governor Brown who worked very hard this session on a number of our most important priorities – including several of the bills we’re signing today.
And of course I want to thank President Miller and Speaker Busch
Our focus continues to be on moving Maryland forward by creating jobs, protecting jobs and empowering small business, while protecting homeownership, and protecting our hardworking families.
The great thing about the people we serve is that in times of great adversity, as Marylanders, we don’t make excuses, we make progress. And progress in these tough times depends on two words: fiscal responsibility.
In four years, we have cut more state spending than during any four year period in our State’s modern history – some $5.6 billion – bringing state spending today below where it was four years ago;
We have strategically reduced the size of our State government, eliminating 4,200 positions;
We have passed four budgets that come in under spending affordability guidelines, and together we have chosen negative spending affordability growth for two years in a row;
We have maintained a 5% balance in our Rainy Day Fund so that we will continue to be one of only 7 states which defends a Triple A Bond rating, a seal of fiscal responsibility certified by all three major agencies.
And together we have made progress for jobs, progress for schools, progress for affordable college, progress for public safety, progress for our environment – not in spite of fiscal responsibility, but because of it.
To create jobs in our State: we passed the Job Creation Tax Credit to get our fellow citizens off the unemployment roles; and to empower small businesses, the backbone of our economy we reformed our UI system and created a Small Business Loan Guaranty to provide critical credit to companies that need it;
Our capital budget will support upwards of 20,000 construction jobs on top of the 20,000 jobs we’ve been able to create or save with federal Recovery and Reinvestment dollars. In addition, the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit that will create hundreds and eventually thousands of jobs across our State.
What’s more, we’ve invested in our greatest asset for job creation and economic growth – our people – with a record investment in our #1 ranked, best-in-America public schools.
And we’ve chosen to advance Maryland’s Innovation Economy,… investing in Stem Cell Research and the Biotechnology Tax Credit Program,…advancing cleaner, renewable energy and our emerging green economy.
Homeownership and Families
Building on the nation-leading reforms we passed two years ago to protect homeownership in our State, this year we passed legislation to finally put the breaks on the home-destroying machinery of foreclosures in our State.
And to move Maryland forward, we passed tough laws to protect our children from sexual predators.
To build on the nation-leading progress we’re making on things like Health-IT, and on the fiscally responsible budget we passed -- today we’re signing three significant pieces of legislation: the Maryland False Health Claims Act (which will crack down on waste, fraud and abuse, and allow the State to recoup $20 million); along with two new laws that will believe will improve the quality of care for our families, our seniors and our children.
Lt. Governor Brown, did an outstanding job leading the way on these bills. I’d like to pass him the microphone to say a few words.