MARYLAND – The future of taxes on retirees, education funding and accountability as well as gun control were all mentioned in Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s State of the State address in Annapolis on Wednesday.
The address began around noon but he wasted no time quickly announcing the Retirement Tax Reduction Act of 2020. “Under this plan, retirees making $50,000 or less, who are often forced to make tough choices every single day just to make ends meet, will pay no state income tax whatsoever.”
The measure would also give retirees, earning less than 100-thousand dollars, a tax reduction of no less than 50 percent and up to 100 percent. But it’s being met with mixed reviews. “How does he plan to offset that expense? When you lose that much revenue from 230,000 citizens, what do we do? How are we going to make that up? So that is somewhat concerning,” says Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes, a Democrat representing District 37A.
Hogan also emphasized the Building Opportunity Act of 2020, record funding for education. “The largest investment ever in school construction, which will enable us to fulfill every single request from every single jurisdiction in the state.”
Legislators know it’s a tall task but they’re confident they’ll get the desired outcome. “I know it’s going to look probably a little different how we get there but I know it’s a priority for all,” says Sample-Hughes.
The Governor also told legislators, if they get nothing else done this session, to pass the Violent Firearm Offenders Act of 2020. “Violent offenders who wind up stealing guns and then hurting people we can’t let that go at all,” says Republican Senator Addie Eckardt, representing District 37.
All in all, the attitude in Annapolis seems hopeful for the future especially for the Eastern Shore. “You ride around and you see the projects, the infrastructure, the things that are happening. From the bypass, to the bridges, to Perdue Stadium, to the Civic Center, to the revitalization of downtown Salisbury. Every piece of that has had the Governor with us along the way,” says Republican Delegate Carl Anderton, representing District 38B.
Governor Hogan says, despite the divisive feelings in the nation’s capital, he believes Maryland legislators will continue to do what’s best for the people of this state.
The Governor also touched on transportation, touting the more than 800 projects, worth $9 billion, happening right now across the state. Additionally, he highlighted Chesapeake Bay restoration saying he intends to hold our upstream neighbors accountable.