In a press conference held one week before the end of the 2016 Legislative Session, the Governor thanked the Presiding Officers, and all Senators and Delegates on both sides of the aisle for their hard work and tireless efforts.
The Governor said he was pleased that the budget was passed, supported in both houses and on both sides of the aisle and that it was adopted more than two weeks early.
Our budget delivers, for the second year in the row, record investments in education, $6.3B, raises the balance in our Rainy Day Fund to over $1B, and delivers a $400M cash balance. Best of all, our budget includes no new taxes.
He said that he was also pleased to see that some of his Administration’s key legislative initiatives are moving forward, including:
- The justice reinvestment package,
- Scholarships to send students from low-income households to high-performing schools, and
- Legislation to model Maryland’s anti-gang statute after federal law to help in the fight against the heroin epidemic.
In addition, the General Assembly is going to implement a couple of the Administration’s proposed fee cuts, and the Senate passed across-the-board much needed personal income tax reductions, he said.
The Governor noted that he would plan to veto a bill to change the nominating commission of the Anne Arundel County School Board, HB0172 Anne Arundel County Board of Education and School Board Nominating Commission.
On the remainder of the bills that have been passed by the General Assembly, the Governor said that he did not plan to veto any of them, letting some of them go into effect without his signature.
He also urged the General Assembly to bring a redistricting reform bill to a vote, noting that it is a bi-partisan issue that is supported by nearly all Marylanders. He said,
It is time for legislators to join with us and set an example for the entire nation. So let’s come together in a spirit of bi-partisanship to protect that most fundamental right of every American citizen, the right to free and fair elections.
That bill, SB0380 / HB0458 General Assembly and Congressional Legislative Redistricting and Apportionment Commission, has not been moved by the House or Senate. As described by the Department of Legislative Services, it proposes a constitutional amendment that, if approved by the voters at the next general election, requires the appointment of a new Redistricting and Apportionment Commission.
For more information on the press conference, see Hogan avoids confrontation with Maryland General Assembly over vetoes from the Baltimore Sun.