As lawmakers begin to dissect Gov. Larry Hogan's proposed budget and battle lines begin to form over funding issues, it is worthwhile to take a look back at Hogan's inauguration speech, and for lawmakers from both parties to carry some of his key statements forward through the legislative session.
"Today is not the beginning of an era of divided government. Today is the beginning of a new spirit of bipartisan cooperation in Annapolis."
Single party control rarely serves the public well, and that is especially true under Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration, where Republicans felt ignored for years.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who introduced Hogan, captured the essence of what we will need moving forward when he said: "I do believe that compromise and consensus are not dirty words, because to accomplish what you need to accomplish here in Maryland, you are going to need someone who can bring people together — someone who isn't afraid to be known as bipartisan, and that's exactly the person you have in Gov. Larry Hogan."
Democrats who have controlled the legislature and Governor's Mansion are a bit rusty at the notion of compromise, but they aren't alone. Plenty of Republicans carry a similar mantra. But we don't need the next four years to evolve into a mini version of what we've seen at the federal level, and lawmakers need to remain focused on the big picture tasks outlined by Hogan.
"We must run our state government more efficiently and more cost effectively," he said.
"We must get the state government off our backs and out of our pockets, so that we can grow the private sector, put people back to work and turn our economy around," he said.