ANNAPOLIS — During the first day of the 2015 legislative session Wednesday, Gov.-elect Larry Hogan reiterated his intent to work across the aisle to solve the issues facing Maryland.
"Our challenges are great but so is our resolve," said Hogan, a Republican. "The only way is to do so in a bipartisan way and that's exactly the way I intend to lead as governor."
Del. Susan Krebs, R-District 5, who began her fourth term this week, said Hogan's intentions have been very well received by both political parties, and she is convinced he will stick to his campaign promises.
"He really means it; he's got his focus," Krebs said. "He is absolutely committed to what his campaign promises were."
Del. Haven Shoemaker, R-District 5, who was among the large freshman class of legislators sworn in Wednesday, said he is looking forward to working with Hogan.
"We are going to get government off of people's backs and out of their wallets," Shoemaker said. "I'm tremendously excited about what the new session will bring and what the new governor will bring."
Del. Warren Miller, R-District 9A, who has served in the House for 12 years but is representing Carroll for the first time thanks to re-districting, said Hogan's bipartisan message was important.
"He struck a very conciliatory tone, and we'll see where that goes," he said.
Miller also said Hogan's speech was brief and he is looking forward to hearing more from him.
"At his swearing in [Jan. 21] we'll hopefully get some more specificity," he said.
Del. Michael Busch, a Democrat who was reappointed as speaker of the house for the 13th time, said a successful bipartisan effort is most certainly possible, as metaphorically evidenced by the state flag.
In 1888, 25 years after the Battle of Gettysburg, veterans from both the Confederate and Union armies met to blend together their war banners in a symbol of unity, Busch said. That banner eventually became the Maryland state flag.
In a similar fashion, the two parties in the General Assembly will need to unify if they want to adequately address issues in the state, such as education, economic development and the creation of jobs, Busch said.
Of the 11 members of Carroll County's delegation sworn in Wednesday, six were returning to the capital to resume their duties, while five were new to their positions.
In addition to Shoemaker, Del. David Vogt, R-District 4; Del. Trent Kittleman, R-District 9A; and Sen. Michael Hough, R-District 4, were all beginning their first four-year term. Sen. Gail Bates, R-District 9, had previously served as a delegate in District 9A.
Two returning lawmakers, Del. Kelly Schulz, R-District 4, and Sen. Joe Getty, R-District 5, were sworn in, but are expected to officially vacate their seats next week to take positions in Hogan's Cabinet. Schulz and Getty were tabbed as secretary of labor and legislative director, respectively.
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Reach staff writer Wiley Hayes at 410-857-3315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.