In his first State of the State address, Governor Larry Hogan echoed many of his campaign promises, offering new details about his proposed budget and tax cuts, but leaving other specifics unannounced. Here’s the transcript of the full speech.
The tax cuts Hogan wants? Repeal of the stormwater fee (“rain tax”), repeal of automatic increases in the state’s gas tax, a $10,000 property exemption for small business owners, and tax-free pensions for firefighters, police, and military veterans.
Hogan announced plans to request additional funding for the state’s Transportation Fund, despite the proposed change in the state’s gas tax (which is intended for transportation infrastructure).
Beyond the budget, Hogan mentioned plans to help create more charter schools, make Chesapeake Bay pollution reduction a more “fair and balanced” process, and to address the state’s heroin addiction problem. Hogan deferred on providing details on how these issues will be tackled.
Hogan also announced his intention to create an independent, bipartisan commission to address the gerrymandering of Maryland’s congressional districts. If that doesn’t seem like a big deal, take a look at the map.
Two people in Baltimore have died due to the cold since January 27th. Across Maryland, 16 have died this winter from cold-weather related causes.
Anne Arundel County reassigned a 911 operator after he told the daughter of a hit-and-run victim to “stop whining” after she called in the accident. The victim, Rick Warrick, 38, died of his injuries after being struck while trying to fix a flat tire on Sunday night on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. This was the second fatal hit-and-run on the parkway in the last few days. No drivers have been held responsible in either incident.
Another woman, Denise Angela White, 33, was hit and killed by oncoming trafic on Route 1 in Elkridge yesterday. One of the drivers of two cars that struck White stopped at the scene and is cooperating with investigators.
Two students were shot outside of Frederick High School last night during a basketball game. Both students were flown to Baltimore with non life-threatening injuries. No word yet on arrests or how many people might have been involved.