Maryland Governor Larry Hogan provided the closing remarks to the 2018 MACo Summer Conference on August 18, 2018. Hogan highlighted several issues important to county governments during his speech, including economic development, education, the environment, health, and transportation.
Hogan thanked county leaders for their dedication to Maryland and their local communities. “Real leadership isn’t about making empty promises, it is about making tough choices,” Hogan stated. He praised the MACo Summer Conference for both its education and networking opportunities.
Hogan noted that one of his primary goals was to “make Maryland more affordable for all Marylanders.” He stated that his Administration has cut taxes and fees by $1.4 million and repealed an estimated 850 regulations to spur job and small business growth. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has created opportunity zones throughout the state to encourage economic growth. The Governor said that during his term, Maryland has gained 100,000 jobs, the best growth rate in over 15 years.
Hogan stated that his Administration has spent a record $25 billion in K-12 education over the last four years. The Governor also highlighted bringing increased accountability to public schools and strengthening school safety by adding more school resource and mental health officers.
Citing the importance of bipartisanship, Hogan stated that he worked with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch to protect health insurance coverage for Marylanders and limit rate increases.
On the environment, Hogan focused on the Chesapeake Bay, noting that his Administration has spent $4 billion on Bay initiatives, including fully funding the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and Program Open Space. As Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, Hogan promised to continue to push upstream states to do their fair share of restoration work.
Transportation and Highway User Revenues
Hogan stated that his Administration has spent $8 billion on transportation projects in every county throughout the state and repaved half of all state roads during his 4-year term. The Governor noted his support for the restoration of highway user revenues and cited the doubling of county highway funds during the 2018 Session as an important success. “We now have a path forward to fully restore highway funding,” Hogan said.
Hogan concluded his remarks by stating, “Working together we have changed Maryland for the better.”
MACo President and Anne Arundel County Council Vice Chair Jerry Walker opened the session and introduced the Governor. Walker thanked Hogan for specifically addressing county issues while in office, such as local autonomy, land use decisions, unfunded mandates, and highway user revenues.
The MACo Winter Conference will be from January 2-4, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Maryland.