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February 3, 2011

O'Malley highlights education, innovation

Gov. Martin O'Malley said Maryland's strides in public education provide the foundation for innovation that will help spur economic recovery, a key point in his State of the State address today in Annapolis.

"The state of our state is stronger than it was two years ago, stronger than it was even a year ago," he said. "But better isn't good enough."

Delivered to the 188 members of the General Assembly and an audience packed with state dignitaries, the speech was sprinkled with quotes from Presidents Obama, Lincoln and Clinton. The Democratic governor repeatedly called President Barack Obama's decisions "courageous" and borrowed his State of the Union theme: "win the future."

Maryland faces a deficit of as much as $1.6 billion, but O'Malley said the economy is showing signs of improvement, pointing to a decrease in home foreclosures and new public-private partnerships such as the Port of Baltimore. He lauded the K-12 school system for its three years at the top of Education Week's list of best districts.

"Innovation is key," he said. "And the foundation of innovation is education."

The governor’s address drew sparse applause, save for one area: holding utility companies accountable. The audience cheered repeatedly as O’Malley announced legislation that would set reliability standards for customers — a hot topic after recent winter storms left thousands of customers in the dark.

"Moms and dads deserve better than to sit for days in freezing homes because the power hasn’t been restored," he said. "Family-owned businesses should not be forced to lose productivity and income because big utilities have failed them."

Republicans said O'Malley's speech was out of sync with his policy choices.

"The governor always gives a great outline of things, but now the reality sets in," said Sen. E.J. Pipkin of the Eastern Shore, the Senate minority whip. He said the governor should be looking for additional education savings and more dramatic pension reform if he truly wants to solve the state's structural deficit.  

In the party's response to O'Malley's address, Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio of the Eastern Shore, the House minority whip, said Republicans agree with O'Malley's call to slow government spending and improve the economy.

"With that in mind, we expected a budget that was lean, that curbed spending and that addressed our structural deficit," she said in a speech taped this morning. She said O'Malley's spending plan, which was presented almost two weeks ago and must be approved by the General Assembly, "does not go far enough."

Republicans also questioned a new idea that emerged in O'Malley's address: banning the installation of septic systems in large-scale housing developments. That's already a restriction in Chesapeake Bay critical areas, but the governor asked legislators today to expand the program statewide.

Pipkin and others said that proposal would have a major impact on rural counties. He said there are "real question marks" about how it would work.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 4:00 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Martin O'Malley
        

Comments

More like State of Disaster!

Seriously, could this man screw anything up more then he already has?

Private sector job losses and corporations leaving Maryland

Slots failure

Thornton Education plan & education cuts (see slots)

Budget crisis (see slots)

Campaign promise to cut energy rates, umm, nope, didn't happen

WELCOME TO THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF MARYLAND!

This guy is so scary. We are counting down the years until we can leave the state. We are on single digits!

LMAO. I asked in the comments box in another Sun article this morning, how many times will O'Malley utter "tough choices" and he said it no less than 12 times. He really believes his own bluster. What a fetid turd.

A mediocre man who is a mediocre governor describing a mediocre educational system To be number one in a mediocre public national system with an economy and media system of the size of the US is pathetic. He is pathetic, and the public that believes that their tax dollars have purchased an excellent system are also pathetic.

More like State of Disaster!

Seriously, could this man screw anything up more then he already has?

Private sector job losses and corporations leaving Maryland

Slots failure

Thornton Education plan & education cuts (see slots)

Budget crisis (see slots)

Campaign promise to cut energy rates, umm, nope, didn't happen

WELCOME TO THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF MARYLAND!

Agreed-the end result of this year's session will be another assault on the wallets of Maryland's shrinking middle class, to clean up behind MOM's fiscal mismanagement.


The only way to fix the education system is to get rid of the Dept. of Education. Let families choose which school to send their children. Let schools compete for students based on competition. Get rid of the Teacher's Union so you can FIRE bad teachers!!!! It is time to get rid of teachers who don't know how to teach. Bring in better teachers and pay them more money so you get better results. While you're at it, get rid of summer vacation so students and teachers are in school all year long.

So much complaining when things could be so much worse. ALL BUT 3 STATES HAVE A BUDGET GAP! We're in the bottom 15 of State debt, have the #1 ranked education system, and are emerging as a leading state for Biotechnology. Given that the entire world is financially screwed at the moment, that's a good place to be in.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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