Governor’s Newsletter September 1 2017
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Governor’s Newsletter September 1 2017

office of maryland governor larry hogan - changing maryland for the better

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Message From Governor Larry Hogan

Dear Friend,

It’s hard to believe that Labor Day is right around the corner, and summer is already coming to an end. Over the last few months, we’ve continued to work every day to Change Maryland for the Better.

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A longstanding tradition here in Maryland is the State Fair, held every year at the fairgrounds in Timonium. I had the opportunity to stop by and take time to appreciate our agriculture industry, including getting to hold a very cute piglet. The State Fair has an incredible positive impact on our economy, environment, culture, and quality of life. Click here to see more photos from our time at the Fair.

In the middle of August, I was honored to join Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe and Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for our third National Capital Regional Meeting. We discussed key regional issues including the protection and preservation of the Chesapeake Bay, the heroin and opioid epidemic, and our public transportation systems. I am proud to report that Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. are all committed to making our citizens safer, our region more competitive, and our environment healthier.

With kids and young people returning to school next week, families just like yours are wrapping up their summer vacation, and this year it extends through Labor Day weekend – just like it should! Last summer, alongside Comptroller Peter Franchot, I was proud to sign an executive order to have Maryland public schools start after Labor Day, returning the school start date to its traditional time. After years of strong bipartisan support for this initiative, I was excited to finally move forward and do what nearly all Marylanders wanted to see done. Let Summer Be Summer!

Keep reading to see some of what our administration has done this past month, and keep an eye out for future editions of the newsletter to stay up-to-date on what’s happening around our great state.

Your Governor,

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Moving Marylanders Safely and Efficiently

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Governor Hogan begins construction on the Purple Line in a John Deere 330 LC Excavator.

Following a ceremonial signing with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao for the federal government’s $900 million Full-Funding Grant Agreement, Governor Larry Hogan started demolition to make way for the new Purple Line Operations Center and begin construction on the long-awaited Purple Line, which will run from New Carrollton in Prince George’s County to Bethesda in Montgomery County.

“The Purple Line project will be an important economic driver for Maryland,​”​ said Governor Hogan​. “It will integrate seamlessly with our current transit systems, combining Metro and Amtrak, to provide more transit options across the region. Just the construction alone will mean thousands of new jobs for Marylanders.

“This multi-billion dollar infrastructure project is a big win for the State of Maryland, and will be a major benefit to the National Capital Region. It is a shining example of what can be accomplished when our federal, state, county, and private sector partners work together.”

Watch Governor Hogan’s and Secretary Chao’s remarks here, and learn more about the Purple Line press conference by clicking here.

Also following through on his commitment to bring traffic congestion relief to Maryland drivers, Governor Hogan announced a construction project in Anne Arundel County that will reduce congestion for hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors who travel over Annapolis’ Severn River Bridge each year. The governor announced the beginning of the project to add a fourth eastbound lane on the US 50 bridge over the Severn River to address recurring and growing congestion.

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“Every single day, 126,000 drivers are faced with serious backups that plague this bridge. On a typical summer Friday, that number swells to more than 145,000 vehicles. It is a serious bottleneck that is a constant headache for many Marylanders who live in Annapolis and the Broadneck Peninsula, as well as for commuters and vacationers trying to reach the Eastern Shore,” said Governor Hogan.

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He also announced the start of construction for the $37.5 million MD 32 widening project in Howard County. This long-awaited project will improve safety and relieve congestion, benefitting thousands of travelers who drive the MD 32 corridor. Following through on the commitment to improve mobility in Howard County, the new 2.5-mile project widens MD 32 from a two-lane undivided highway to a four-lane divided highway between MD 108 and Linden Church Road in Clarksville.

“Too many have experienced the severe congestion common here in Howard County, and some people have lost loved ones in fatal crashes. This two-lane road is simply not built to handle the volume of traffic. That is going to end. The state is answering the call, and we are going to finally break the bottleneck on this busy highway.”

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Governor Hogan, alongside state, county, and local officials, officially breaks ground for the MD32 widening project.

Second Conowingo Dam Summit – Cleaning Up the Bay

This month, Governor Larry Hogan held a second Conowingo Dam Summit in Darlington, Maryland to discuss solutions to the growing threat posed to the Chesapeake Bay by sediment flowing through the Dam.

“To expand on the great progress we have made when it comes to the Bay, it is absolutely vital that we find real solutions for the problem of sediment and nutrient pollution,” said Governor Hogan. “The Conowingo Dam reservoir has reached capacity and is no longer able to trap sediment, which if allowed to flow downstream, could substantially increase pollution, and negatively impact water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Much of our efforts to protect the Bay and safeguard our environment for future generations could be easily wiped out by the effects of one bad storm.”

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Governor Hogan went on to announce that the Maryland Environmental Service will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a demonstration project to determine the costs for dredging behind the Dam, identify markets available for the dredged material, and identify companies have the capability to beneficially reuse the material. The official RFP will be issued on August 31, with responses and a final award anticipated this fall.

In 2016, Governor Hogan held the first Conowingo Dam Summit and announced a Request for Information (RFI) to identify cost-effective dredging solutions. The administration put together a multi-agency work group composed of representatives from the Maryland Departments of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Planning, the Maryland Port Administration, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and the Maryland Environmental Service (MES). The work group reviewed the responses to the RFI and used the information to develop the RFP.


Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program – Investing in the Backbone of Our Economy

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“It was an honor to join Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and renowned businessman Warren Buffett to congratulate the first class of Baltimore City graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy – they account for 95% of all the businesses in our state, and Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Philanthropies are helping to continue that progress.” – Governor Hogan

Watch the graduation ceremony here and learn more about the 10,000 Small Businesses program here.

RGGI – Strengthening Emissions Standards

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Governor Larry Hogan announced that Maryland and the eight other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have agreed to reduce the program’s carbon pollution cap by 30 percent from 2020 to 2030. This multi-state initiative will continue the Hogan administration’s longstanding commitment to improving air quality standards while growing Maryland’s economy.

“Maryland is committed to finding real bipartisan, common sense solutions to protect our environment, combat climate change, and improve our air quality,” said Governor Hogan. “By working together, we are showing that it is possible to find consensus to protect our natural resources, promote clean energy, and grow our economy for current and future generations.”

The program’s regional carbon cap will decline by 2,275,000 tons every year starting in 2021, yielding a total reduction of 22,750,000 tons from 2021-2030, or 30 percent of the 2020 cap.


Commerce Corner

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Altimmune, Inc, a clinical-stage immunotherapeutics biotechnology company, announced it will relocate new employees acquired as a result of its merger with Pharmathene, as well as its existing Gaithersburg employees, to a new 14,000 square-foot location in Gaithersburg. The new, larger location at 910 Clopper Road, planned to be complete by the first quarter of 2018, will include the company’s research and development facility. Altimmune currently has 14 full-time employees in Gaithersburg, and as a result of the expansion, plans to add 45 new jobs over the next four years.

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In Washington County, Lanco Dairy Farms has expanded its presence in Maryland and established a cheese-making operation, where it plans to add 15 new jobs over the next two years. The company invested more than $24 million to acquire and refurbish the former Saputo Inc. cheese facility, located on Warfordsburg Road in Hancock. Lanco currently has 74 employees, including some workers who were displaced when the Saputo facility closed in 2014. The company has submitted a notice of intent and is among the first to start the application process under the More Jobs for Marylanders Act, the centerpiece of Governor Larry Hogan’s 2017 Maryland Jobs Initiative, which provides tax incentives to new and existing manufacturers in the state that create jobs.

Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference – Planning For Maryland’s Future

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Governor Larry Hogan delivered the closing address of the annual Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Summer Conference at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City. During his address, the governor announced his signing of Executive Order 01.01.2017.18, which directs state officials to create a new State Development Plan (SDP) that promotes smart growth initiatives, while being significantly more responsive to the needs of local jurisdictions than previous plans.

“As I have traveled across Maryland, local elected officials have repeatedly asked for a plan that better reflects the needs of our state,” Governor Hogan said. “One that will improve coordination between state agencies and local governments, support thoughtful growth and infrastructure planning, stimulate economic development and revitalization in existing and planned communities, and will conserve and enhance the state’s natural and cultural resources.”

Read more about the announcement here.


Maryland FiRST Launch – Connecting Departments

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“As Governor, I am committed to making sure that our law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders are equipped with the newest technology, and that they have the full support of our entire administration. That’s why I was pleased to celebrate the completion of the Central Maryland portion of our new Maryland First Responders Interoperable Radio System Team (Maryland FiRST) radio system. It was an honor to give the official First Call!” 
-Governor Hogan [Watch the full event here.]


Did You Know?

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Governor Larry Hogan issued a proclamationdeclaring August 1st as Henrietta Lacks Day in Maryland, on what would have been the 97th birthday of the Marylander hailed as the matriarch of modern medicine. Lacks’ cells, the first immortal human cell line in history, have helped pioneer landmark biomedical breakthroughs and continue to facilitate critical research.

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