A Discussion of the Major Points in the Democratic Response to Governor Hogan’s State of the State Address
Ann Kaiser’s response to the State of the State sounds agreeably bi-partisan, and with the tone of her response, the citizens of this state should look forward to Democrats in the Legislature working with a Republican governor. This paper addresses her comments on education and the Chesapeake Bay.
Delegate Kaiser said we cannot grow our economy, boost private sector confidence to invest and attract new businesses to Maryland without a strong educated work force. And she says Democrats believe the most important investment government can make is in a well-educated workforce. It rather goes without saying, that we need strong educated people in the state. Republicans too obviously believe a strong education system is an absolutely necessary investment. We also believe that we have to look at education output not just input. Are all children in all areas receiving a quality education? Will an educated workforce continue to live here and work here, thus continuing investment in education with their taxes in the future? We need to keep our educated people here with high quality jobs and an affordable tax structure.
Unfortunately, with the loss of private sector jobs, many of the educated people who do live here travel outside the state to work. It is difficult to boost our private sector economy with companies leaving the state because of high corporate taxes and endless expensive regulations. We in Montgomery County are insulated from many problems associated with loss of private sector jobs because we have a large federal government workforce. But around the state and even in this county we need to open Maryland for business. Governor Hogan’s plan to make Maryland more competitive will work toward the goal of bring new business to the state as will his tax relief initiatives.
In discussing the value of education, Delegate Kaiser said we can boast that Maryland is one of the best in the country. But therein lies a problem since not long ago Maryland was considered THE best in education. What difference do expensive buildings make if good education does not reach all students in those buildings and if a large percentage of graduates going to Montgomery College still have to take remedial courses before starting college level courses? We must find better ways to give all children a vision for a bright future that comes with a solid education.
Delegate Kaiser stated that Maryland has an outstanding graduation rate of 86%. According to the college of Education at the University of Maryland, graduation rates are surprisingly difficult to measure. But even if that 86% for the state were accurate, that rate is not shared by Baltimore City or Prince George’s County with stated graduations rates of 56% and 69% respectively. While we in Montgomery County can point to some of the finest schools in the nation not all schools are equal, even in our county.
Working together, the Governor and legislature can bring money invested in education directly to the students in the classrooms rather than supporting bloated public school bureaucracies. Governor Hogan wants to give families choices and encourage more public charter schools to operate in Maryland with the hope making quality education available to all students.
It is encouraging that Delegate Kaiser and the governor agree on commitment to the bay. Because, as the governor said, even after spending $15 billion in Maryland tax dollars, the health of our Chesapeake Bay has declined and Maryland recently received a D+ on its report card for the bay. Working together the legislature and Governor’s office can find innovative ideas for balanced solutions and for addressing the sediment flowing from the Conowingo Dam. When Delegate Kaiser says Maryland prides itself on being the stewards of the Chesapeake Bay, I have high hopes we can make some progress in really fixing the bay.
Not all of the ideas expressed in Governor Hogan’s State of the State speech were covered by Delegate Kaiser. We have many problems to fix in this state but as she stated, “Now that the election is over, the real work of governing begins. Working together, we can ensure a better Maryland.”
The legislature working with the Governor would be a real winner for the State of Maryland.
Governor Hogan’s State of the State
Ann Kaiser’s response to State of the State