Who was that Larry Hogan who gave a magnanimous, inclusive and hopeful inaugural address two weeks ago? The governor who gave his first State of the State speech today sounded a lot more like the guy who spent the last year on the campaign trail trying to convince voters that the state is about to slide off into the Atlantic. In fairness, there were some good ideas in Governor Hogan's address, and there was some language suggesting a willingness to be flexible on how to achieve shared goals like strengthening the economy, putting the budget on a sustainable path and cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. But it was wrapped in so much Republican red meat that it may have made it harder for him to find that common ground.

First off, the good news. Mr. Hogan is not waiting to kick off an effort to reform the way Maryland redraws its legislative and congressional districts after each census. He promised a commission to explore ways to hand the task off to a bipartisan committee, rather than leaving it in the hands of whoever is governor at the time. If he serves two terms, that would mean stripping himself of real power. In another bit of good government reform, he is proposing to replenish the public financing account he used to win office by restoring a voluntary check-off box on state income tax returns. We hope that might some day lead to a broadening of the state's public campaign finance system.

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We are glad to see that Mr. Hogan intends to follow up immediately on his pledge to strengthen Maryland's charter school law, though he is clearly going to have a fight on his hands from the state's politically influential teachers unions. Efforts to provide charters with more support for their facilities are certainly needed. Other proposals the governor unveiled today will need to be carefully considered. Charters should be given greater flexibility to hire and manage their teachers, but the legislature will need to carefully debate the specifics to make sure flexibility does not result in lower standards.

Finally, Mr. Hogan's commitment to battling heroin addiction is welcome. The fact that addiction is being recognized as something more than a Baltimore City issue increases the likelihood that the state can come to a consensus on devoting more resources to the problem.

The governor's proposals on the budget and spending are where things get dicier. Lawmakers are just now coming to grips with the implications of the spending cuts Mr. Hogan proposed in his budget this year, and now the governor is offering up ideas for reducing taxes. He wants to eliminate taxes on retirement income for former first responders and members of the military; to reduce personal property taxes on small businesses; to create a new tax break for donations to private schools; to repeal the state's stormwater management fee; and to eliminate automatic adjustments to the gas tax to account for inflation.

Some of those ideas are good in theory. We have supported the tax credit for donations to private schools and public school enrichment programs before, and the governor's proposal for small business tax relief is actually similar to something former Del. Heather Mizeur championed during the Democratic primary.

Others are less so. Exemptions for certain favored retirees' pension income would not be our top choice for tax cuts, as many in the groups the governor is targeting are better off than average. And removing the indexing of the gas tax for inflation is a recipe for Maryland's transportation funds falling far behind its needs. The business community fought hard for that provision for a reason, and eliminating it will make it much more difficult for the governor to keep his promises in terms of funding new roads and transit. The governor's pledge to repeal the state's stormwater management fee, aka the "rain tax," without any explanation for how to pay for the pollution mitigation projects it funds casts doubt on how serious Mr. Hogan is about cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

But the fundamental question about Mr. Hogan's proposals is how the state can afford them. The governor said in regard to Democratic legislators' desire to restore funding for education and other programs, "every penny that is added to one program must be taken from another." The same is true of tax cuts. In a year when Baltimore City's public schools are taking a $35 million hit, how, for example, how can we justify creating tax breaks that will benefit private schools?

To give Mr. Hogan his due, the agenda he laid out today was a more detailed version of the one he campaigned on, and the rhetoric he used was the rhetoric that got him elected. This speech was by no means on par with the harangue former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. delivered to the legislature in his infamous "respect" State of the State in 2005. But if Mr. Hogan is going to enact any of the things he just proposed, he's going to need to win over some of those Democrats who scowled through the first big policy speech of his term. Telling them that everything they did for the last eight years was a ruinous mistake might not have been the best approach. The time for campaigning has past; now it's time for Mr. Hogan to show he can govern, and he missed an opportunity today.

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