Press Release, Office of the Governor of Maryland

Initial Proposals Focus On Expanding Opportunity for Marylanders; Additional Legislation to be Announced

“We’ve got a lot of important issues to deal with and a lot of important business to take care of. I can promise you that all of us want to start the session off in good faith, work with all of you on both sides of the aisle to come up with real bipartisan, common sense solutions.”– Governor Larry Hogan, January 9, 2019

Education Opportunities for All Marylanders

Building Opportunity Act

  • Legislation that increases funding for school construction projects requested by local school systems; legislation will give the Maryland Stadium Authority oversight of these additional school construction funds, and include accountability measures.

P-TECH Opportunity Act of 2019

  • Legislation that will expand the P-TECH schools program in Maryland by lifting caps that limit the state to issuing one planning grant per local school system.

Office of the State Education Inspector General

  • Legislation that creates an independent Office of the State Education Inspector General that will be charged with investigating complaints of unethical, unprofessional, improper, or illegal conduct in our local school systems, and will have the ability to obtain information by subpoena and hold hearings.

Student Debt Relief Act

  • Legislation will allow Marylanders to deduct 100% of the interest paid on their student loans from their state income tax; legislation also expands the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship Program to include four-year Maryland public institutions, and doubles the deduction for families participating in Maryland 529 savings plans from $2,500 to $5,000.

Expanding Economic Opportunity for Workers and Job Creators

More Opportunities for Marylanders Act of 2019

  • Legislation that extends a 10-year tax credit for each new job created by business that locates or expands on a Maryland Opportunity Zone; legislation also exempts specified fees and property taxes for these businesses.

Maryland Technology Infrastructure Fund

  • Legislation that will invest $16 million will be tasked with creating a long-term strategic vision and implementation plan to leverage more than $500 million in planned investment over the next decade.

Small Business Relief Tax Credit Act Of 2019

  • Legislation that expands eligibility for the tax credit to small businesses that provide paid parental leave, and doubles the available tax credit for businesses that provide both paid sick leave and parental leave.

Securing Our Streets and Supporting Victims of Crime

Repeat Firearms Offenders Act of 2019

  • Legislation that will double the minimum sentence from five to ten years for repeat offenders who use a firearm to commit a violent crime.

Judicial Transparency Act of 2019

  • Legislation that will require the Sentencing Commission to publish detailed, judge-by-judge information on the actual sentences given for violent crimes as well as the sentencing guidelines for those cases.

Felony Human Trafficking Act Of 2019

  • Legislation that classifies felony human trafficking as a violent crime.

Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Act of 2019

  • Legislation that creates a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years for anyone convicted of a drunk or drugged driving offense on three or more prior occasions, as well as anyone convicted of causing a death or a life-threatening injury on their second and/or subsequent offenses.

Fostering Free and Fair Elections

Non-Partisan Redistricting

  • Legislation that institutes a nonpartisan redistricting process for both congressional and legislative districts, as well as provides criteria for congressional districts.

The aforementioned proposals represent the governor’s legislative package as unveiled on or before January 9, 2019. Additional proposals will be announced by the administration in the coming days and weeks.

For more information visit: Web page will be updated once new announcements are made.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...