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Governor Delivers Second State of the State Address

governor's office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is sounding a bipartisan tone in his annual State of the State speech.

"Let us blaze that new path for Maryland with the full knowledge that people of this great state stand firmly behind us. Let's work together to come up with real bipartisan common sense solutions. And let us continue to embrace that middle temperment."

Hogan told the Democratically-led General Assembly on Wednesday "there is so much we can find agreement on." He is pushing for modest tax cuts, and thanked Democrats for working with him last year to get started.

"This year let's work together to help even more struggling Marylanders throughout our state. Let's find those areas where modest and reasonable tax cuts will have the biggest possible impact on our economy and which will improve the lives of those who need it most: working families, retirees, and small business owners."

Hogan also says he wants reforms to break the cycle of incarceration in the criminal justice system and create an environment for economic opportunity.

Credit governor's office
governor's office (File Photo)
Second State of the State Address by Governor Larry Hogan (R-Md)

But the Maryland Republican took a swipe at the gerrymandered legislative and congressional districts that have provided Democrats a clear advantage.

"In Maryland we have the unfortunate distinction of being the most gerrymandered state in the nation. We created a redistricting reform commission to fight for the non-partisan drawing of district lines -- something that all Marylanders are strongly in favor of.  We ask you to join in that fight."

Opponents of non-partisan approach say that such redistricting must be on a national level so as not to give either party an advantage.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller says the governor's speech was much better than last year's, which angered lawmakers when Hogan said the state's economy was floundering. Still, Miller says this year's speech "wasn't a problem-solving speech" or "a moving-the-state-forward speech."

Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.