On Wednesday, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley delivered annual his State of the State address before members of the General Assembly. His speech touched on the state's finances, his administration's education and business achievements, gun control, and the health of the Chesapeake Bay, according to a press release issued by the governor's office.
The seventh of his addresses issued in front of lawmakers, O'Malley also addressed growing transportation concerns without providing any details on how to do so, according to the Associated Press .
Here's a look at some highlights of the speech.
* Last year, O'Malley proposed a phased-in 6 percent sales tax increase to help boost transportation and infrastructure, but the measure didn't pan out.
* Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, D-Calvert, had his own proposals to solve transportation funding concerns, including a 3 percent sales tax on gasoline and allowing counties to add an additional five cents to the 23.5-cent gas tax levied by the state. But Miller said O'Malley's speech fell short. "He's got to work hard to make it happen, but the absence of a secretary of transportation and the absence of any specifics in his speech concerned me greatly," according to the AP.
* The theme of the 30-minute speech was "better choices, better results," and touched on legislation that would repeal the death penalty and push forward gun control and job creation initiatives. O'Malley's proposed gun control laws would be among the strictest in the country, according to a report from the Capital News Service , and as noted in the speech transcript would require a license for handgun purchases, ban the sale of military assault weapons, and would improve mental health treatment and information sharing.
* In the press release, O'Malley mentioned that Maryland had been ranked at the top among schools in the country for the fifth straight year, that college had been kept more affordable than any other state since 2007, and that the U.S. Chamber ranked the state number one for entrepreneurship and innovation due to the state's high-tech activity and research emphasis.
* The governor touched on climate change in his address, concluding by mentioning the state's vulnerability to sea-level rise, according to his office. "Climate disruption is real. Climate change is not an ideological issue any more than gravity is. It is physics, pure and simple."
Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and lives near Washington D.C. in Germantown, Maryland.
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