Speaking at a televised event earlier in the week, Hogan promised “another major tax cut” would be coming in the State of the State speech.
But the governor did not unveil Wednesday any big cut to income, property or sales taxes — as some had hoped for and that Democrats were preparing to oppose.
Hogan did tout a series of targeted tax-relief programs he has discussed already, including making more retirement income exempt from taxes, giving tax breaks to businesses in federally designated opportunity zones, allowing Marylanders to deduct interest paid on student loans from their state taxes, and tax breaks to small businesses that offer parental leave to employees.
While Hogan repeated many of his favorite lines about “common-sense solutions” and finding “a way to disagree without being disagreeable,” much of the speech focused on his accomplishments in Maryland and his state legislative initiatives.
In addition to his tax-relief proposals, Hogan made pitches for his bills that would: create an inspector general for public schools, expand job training, require nonpartisan congressional redistricting, stiffen penalties for repeat violent offenders who use guns, and fund school construction with revenue from casinos in Maryland.
Each of the proposals he mentioned has already been introduced as legislation pending before the General Assembly.
And he’s touted many of his ideas already at recent public events and news conferences.
Rolling with the punches
Early in the speech, Hogan had to improvise when the teleprompters briefly went out. As Hogan quoted a line from his 2015 inaugural speech about avoiding divisive politics, he opened a binder and flipped a page.
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“They got it going on one side, so I ended up looking to the left for the most part,” Glendening said. “After I had all this training of how you look to one side, you pause in the middle, and you look to the other side — and there was no other side! Interestingly, it was the right side that clapped, so it was OK.”