Governor discusses job creation and plan to redirect, rebalance and reconnect
OCEAN CITY, MD (August 20, 2011) – Governor Martin O’Malley today delivered the keynote address at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) 2011 Summer Conference. The Governor’s remarks focused on job creation and the need to reconnect, rebalance and redirect in the midst of tough times.
“There's a sense in our country that as a nation we've lost our direction and we need to become redirected. There's a sense that we've lost our balance and we need to rebalance. And there's a sense that we've become disconnected from one another, and from the future we aspire to give to our children,…and we must become reconnected,” said Governor O’Malley. “I want to talk with you about direction, about balance, and about connection. Because in order for Maryland's businesses to create jobs, Maryland's state, county, and municipal governments have to do their jobs. “
Yesterday, the Department of Labor released the July jobs report, demonstrating that even in tough times, Maryland continues to be a leader in job creation. Maryland added 8,100 jobs in July, and Maryland’s private sector added 10,400 jobs. So far this year, Maryland has added nearly 14,000 jobs. The Governor underscored the need to maintain a strong commitment to job creation and retention.
“In all of the many difficult decisions we have to make as a people, job creation must be our number one priority, always. There is nothing more important for a family than a good job with decent wages and decent benefits. Indeed, no government program is as empowering for a family than a job. There are no amount of tax cuts that can substitute for a job. There is no better way to expand opportunity, to grow our economy, and to strengthen and grow the ranks of an increasingly diverse middle class than by creating and saving jobs. And the most important job we create is the next job.”
The O’Malley-Brown Administration has had to make tough decisions over the past five years, cutting $6.8 billion in spending and reducing the size of government. But even in the midst of tough economic times, the Administration has worked to create and save jobs by making modern investments for a modern economy, spurring innovation, cutting red tape to stimulate job growth, supporting small businesses, and developing a world class workforce to compete and win in the new economy. <http://www.governor.maryland.gov/documents/JobCreationWeb.pdf>
The Governor touted the need for a balanced approach to move forward in the new economy.
“If our children are going to be winners in this new economy, we need to find the will to balance and move forward at the same time. All three rating agencies have reaffirmed our Triple A bond rating in Maryland. Only eight states in America can say that. They reaffirmed our rating because we've been willing to do what the job- obstructionist, economic saboteurs in Congress has prevented our federal government from doing. And that is, choosing a balanced approach. A balanced approach has gotten Maryland through these past five very difficult years, in better shape than most states -- with a lower unemployment rate than most states.”
But Governor O’Malley cautioned of more tough times ahead.
“I wish I could tell you that the choices we have to make this year will be easier, but they won't. While we do anticipate revenues to exceed original projections in both FY2012 and FY2013, our projected budget shortfall for FY2013 is approximately $1 billion -- even with one of the nation's smallest and leanest state and local government bureaucracies… To move Maryland forward, we have to make more cuts, and at the same time, we have to be open to new revenues.”
“As we make these tough choices, I want you to know that I continue to believe in Truth #3, which is that we're all in this together, and we need to work together in order to move our country forward to the better and more prosperous times that lay ahead. Every county is critically important to the whole. By working together last year with the brave men and women of Maryland law enforcement, together we drove homicide, violent crime, car theft, and property crime down to the lowest rates in Maryland since 1975. It will take the same cooperative effort to reach our potential for creating and saving Maryland jobs. “
“I had the opportunity in May to attend the ribbon cutting in Howard County for the new headquarters of a company called Gantech. Gantech is an IT company, owned by an Hispanic-American, which has created 55 Maryland jobs in the last 18 months alone,…Let’s work together to help more Gantech’s create and save Maryland jobs. We work to create jobs through innovation, to employ the mom who’s taking night classes at Anne Arundel Community College to become certified for a new 21st century cyber security job. We work to spur innovation to put the dad back to work at one of the 800 new jobs we’re creating in Baltimore County because we convinced GM to build their next generation green electric motor not in Mexico, but in Maryland. We create innovation economy jobs to empower our neighbor in Prince George’s County who is training for a new solar construction job through IBEW.”
Governor O’Malley concluded: “Maryland is not an island, we are all a part of a greater nation -- her destiny is ours, her challenges are ours, her future is our future. Her work is our work. There is a lot of noise in our country right now. A lot of things distracting us from what must remain our top priority of creating jobs… Above all, let's never lose sight of the fact, that there is so much more that connects us. That we are all, in fact, going to the same place. There are good and bad consequences that flow from the good and bad choices we make in governing ourselves. We can choose to be bitter about what we've lost. Or we can focus on what we have the ability to do together -- to create jobs, to expand opportunity; to redirect, to rebalance, and to reconnect ourselves to the better economic days and the stronger future we desire for our children.”
The Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that includes representatives from Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City meets holds its annual summer conference in Ocean City, Maryland. During the conference, attendees from every Maryland jurisdiction have an opportunity to attend workshops, policy presentations, and gather with other elected officials to form partnerships and learn about innovations in governance.
Click here to read the Governor’s speech as drafted. <http://www.governor.maryland.gov/speeches/110820.pdf>