Governor Larry Hogan delivered his State of the State address on Wednesday at the State House in Annapolis, highlighting some of Maryland's achievements from the past year as well as items to focus on.
Gov. Larry Hogan delivered the final State of the State address of his term Wednesday. Here are some memorable lines from the speech, and from lawmakers' reactions to it.
“We don’t want Annapolis to become like Washington, where bad policy is passed with a promise that a fix will come later,” he said, avoiding mention of President Donald Trump throughout his speech.
In stressing the need to address opioid deaths in the state, he welcomed Karen Dolch, mother of Chad Book, a veteran who died of an overdose in December. “We are really talking about fighting for all the Chads and the Karens out there — for all the lives cut too short and all the families that will never be the same,” he said. “That’s why no matter how hard it is, we cannot ever give up this fight,” he said, to a bipartisan standing ovation.
He concluded with a reference to his first State of the State speech in 2015, months after his surprise defeat of Democrat Anthony Brown: “On that snowy day three years ago just after I took the oath of office, I said, ‘To those who would drive us to the extremes of either party, let me remind you that Maryland has always been a state of middle temperament. I asked that ‘we seek that middle ground where we can all stand together.’ And ladies and gentlemen, over the past three years we have.”
“The governor’s speech, I think, was more of a campaign statement — more of an effort to characterize his administration in a way that’s favorable to him in an election year,” said Del. C. William Frick, the House majority leader from Montgomery County. “It really is somewhat divorced the experience we’ve had.”
“I would have hoped that the governor would have indicated how he was going to stand up for Maryland against the Trump administration,” Attorney General Brian Frosh said. “We got a lot of platitudes interspersed with a few misstatements, like that we have the first balanced budget in 10 years. The constitution requires us to have a balanced budget.”
And some Republican responses to Democrats’ responses:
Del. Kathy Szeliga, the House minority whip from Baltimore and Harford counties, said she was disappointed Democrats did not applaud for Hogan’s comments “on bipartisan nonpolitical redistricting. They sat silently in their seats for that. That was disappointing because we know across our great state people want to have common-sense redistricting.”
Eastern Shore Sen. Stephen Hershey, the Senate minority whip, said he thought Hogan “spoke very easily to both sides of the aisle,” and did not fault him for avoiding Trump’s name the day after the president’s first State of the Union address. “Unfortunately, I think the follow up to last night’s speech was a little bit hard. We saw some of the things down in DC last night that none of us are proud to see. There’s a lot of things that were said that I think everybody should have been up applauding about. I think the governor was very clear with respect to Washington that there’s a lot of politics going on down there. We don’t need to see that in Maryland.”