Agenda includes legislation creating a $100 million economic investment initiative to create jobs;
Governor recommits to renewable energy generation with new legislation;
Maryland to continue on path of leadership in federal health reform
ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 25, 2010) – Governor Martin O’Malley outlined his legislative agenda today focusing on job creation and the new economy, just days after submitting an FY12 budget proposal focused on those same priorities. Governor O’Malley’s 2011 legislative agenda includes the creation of InvestMaryland, a $100 million initiative to grow the state’s knowledge-based industries and stimulate up to $100 million in venture capital investments, creating thousands of jobs.
“We are in a fight for our economic future. It is a fight in which every state has an important duty to fulfill in creating jobs through innovation in a hotly competitive global economy,” said Governor O’Malley. “While cutting and balancing are important, they are not enough by themselves to create jobs in the new economy. Effective decision making must also make and protect strategic investments for a stronger future. Our legislative agenda focuses valuable resources on job creating initiatives, and harnesses Maryland’s competitive strengths to make this new economy ours.”
Governor O’Malley’s legislative agenda includes specific legislation to maintain Maryland’s leadership position on the implementation of federal health care reform. Legislation that Lt. Governor Brown will help shepherd through the General Assembly creates a governance structure of a health insurance exchange, a recommendation of the Health Reform Coordinating Council, of which Lt. Governor Brown served as co-chair.
“While some states are fighting federal health reform, we see the federal legislation as a unique opportunity to expand access, improve the quality of care and make health care more affordable for more Marylanders. We have enthusiastically accepted this challenge and are developing a national model to implement health reform. Our efforts to create a health benefit exchange and promote wellness and preventative care will make Maryland a healthier state,” said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. “Federal health reform will only be as successful as a state’s ability to implement it. Because of reforms already in place which has expanded coverage to more than 250,000 of our neighbors, federal health care reform will save Maryland $830 million over the next 10 years and cut the number of uninsured Marylanders in half.”
To promote and expand Maryland’s “green jobs” sector, Governor O’Malley introduced today legislation that promotes the purchase and use of electric vehicles in Maryland. In addition, legislation will be introduced soon that will include solar hot water heaters under eligibility requirements for solar renewable energy credits. The Governor also announced that he will soon introduce legislation that requires utility companies to award long-term contracts to procure between 400 to 600 megawatts of offshore wind energy, fueling Maryland’s “green jobs” sector and ushering in a new era of renewable energy innovation.
Governor O’Malley’s 2011 legislative agenda also includes public safety initiatives designed to continue Maryland’s progress of creating safer neighborhoods, including provisions that will reduce good time and dimunition credits for certain gun offenders. Other legislation will add long guns to the definition of firearms, and create a separate criminal offense of child neglect.
Bill summaries are attached and available here www.governor.maryland.gov/documents/110125LegAgenda.pdf.