House of Delegates Chamber, Statehouse
Thank you very, very much. Thank you. Mr. Speaker, thank you very, very much. Congratulations to you and congratulations to your beautiful family, without whose support I know you would not be able to serve all of us as you have done so very, very well. Congratulations to all of you, and welcome back. It’s an honor to be able to serve the people of our State once again in these important times with all of you.
We’ve had some good news over the course of the last year. Your State has created 27,000 new jobs since you were here last January. So far as a state, we have recovered 43% of the jobs we lost in the recession. Nationally, we’ve recovered 28%. So Maryland is leading the way, we’re moving forward, and we’re doing it because we know and we acknowledge by the choices that all of you have had the courage to make that in order for a modern economy to create jobs, we must not only be strong enough to make the right cuts, we also have to be strong enough to make the right investments, like investments in making college more affordable, investments in education, investments that protect and defend the tremendous quality of life that we have in our State.
It’s going to be an exciting session. And we have plenty of work that remains to be done and people are really depending upon us.
I just want to say in closing here, I’m sure we’ll have opportunities to speak as the session goes on, but I think one of the most important things that holds us together as a people, and of course in order to make this experiment in democracy fly, we need both the right wing and the left wing. And what enables us to do that is the importance we attach as Marylanders to that important principle of dignity – the dignity of work. There is no progress without a job. The dignity of every individual. And the dignity of every family. And the dignity that we see in the eyes of one another as servant leaders of a great people. Not only when we agree but when we disagree.
And I welcome all of you back. And I thank you for the honor to serve the people of our State with you at these times. Thanks.