Message From Governor Larry Hogan
The holiday season is underway, and the First Lady and I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for, including my family and our continued good health and happiness. I am also deeply grateful to all Marylanders for the opportunity to serve as your governor, and I will continue to fight on your behalf every moment and with everything I have.
We were very busy in November, again traveling all across the state and talking with Marylanders of all walks of life.
Early in the month, we celebrated the 3rd Annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Festival at Wilde Lake Elementary and the Maryland International School, where I was impressed by all of the students and their exhibits – I even had the chance to try some of the experiments myself!
As Maryland strives to compete nationally and across the globe, STEM education is helping us to create critical thinkers and to empower the next generation of leaders. That’s why I was proud to announce our ACCESS Initiative (Achieving Computer Science Collaborations for Employing Students Statewide), a comprehensive computer science education and workforce development plan, including a new executive order, proposed legislation, and $5 million in new education funding. Read more about this initiative below.
Also this month, I announced that our administration will reintroduce legislation to eliminate all state income tax on retirement income received as a result of military service. We have been pushing to eliminate income taxes for all retirees since before taking office, and we have acted to move toward this goal by first extending tax relief to our military veterans and hometown heroes. Keep reading to learn more about this legislation.
Right before Thanksgiving, I was excited to join community leaders, local residents, state and local officials, and many others for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the newly opened and improved MD 404 on the Eastern Shore. For decades, improvements to this vital – and oftentimes dangerous – corridor were slow to move forward, and our administration heard the calls loud and clear. We were proud to deliver critical safety improvements on the number one priority for Queen Anne’s, Talbot, and Caroline counties, complete and a year and a half ahead of schedule. Read more about this project and how we’re transforming transportation on US 113 below.
New in this edition of the newsletter is our Video Highlights section, this month featuring the Governor’s Service Awards, my message to Marylanders on Veterans Day, and more. Look for it below the “Did You Know?” fun fact. Also be sure to follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat!
To wrap up this edition of our newsletter, I want to personally invite you and your family to join the First Lady and I at Government House in Annapolis on Saturday, December 9th from 1PM to 4PM for a Holiday Open House. We’ll be decking the halls, serving refreshments, and listening to live holiday music. This is one of my favorite events of the year, and it’s free and open to everyone. Find more information here.
We are looking forward to even more announcements in December. Our next newsletterwill be released January 5th, so please – from our family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a safe and joyous New Year!
In Memoriam – Honoring Detective Sean Suiter
“It was an honor to pay tribute to the life and the memory of Detective Sean Suiter at his memorial service.
Detective Suiter lived and died a hero, and he will never be forgotten. Those who knew Sean Suiter say he was a good cop who served with integrity. They say he was someone you could always count on, that he was good-natured and funny, and that he loved his family and his brothers in blue.
His legacy will live on through his children, who will be reminded often of the bravery and courage of their father who laid down his life while doing his job to protect the rest of us. His legacy will live on through the proud men and women of the Baltimore Police Department who will continue to honor Detective Suiter’s memory by their continued commitment to their profession.
On behalf of all the grateful citizens of the State of Maryland, we thank him. May God bless him, and may he rest in peace.” – Governor Larry Hogan
Governor Larry Hogan was joined by area residents, local business leaders, and officials to celebrate the long-awaited improvement of one of the Eastern Shore’s primary corridors – MD 404. Under the Hogan administration’s landmark investment of an additional $2 billion in roads and bridges announced in June 2015, this $158 million project completed the upgrade of MD 404 from two lanes to a four-lane divided highway from US 50 to the Denton Bypass.
“For decades, improvements to this vital corridor were slow to move forward, and our administration heard your calls loud and clear,” said Governor Hogan. “With the completion of the MD 404 upgrade, our administration is proud to deliver on the number one priority for Queen Anne’s, Talbot, and Caroline counties – complete and a year and a half ahead of schedule.”
The MD 404 upgrade was planned for years, with small segments improved as funding became available. In the decade between 2005 and 2014, 402 crashes occurred and 12 people lost their lives. Upgrading MD 404 has been the top priority for Queen Anne’s, Talbot, and Caroline counties for years.
Governor Hogan also announced the start of construction on the final phase of widening US 113 (Worcester Highway). This $82.3 million congestion relief project widens US 113 from two lanes to four lanes with a median from MD 365 (Public Landing Road) to Five Mile Branch Road. Governor Hogan added the funding for Worcester County’s top transportation priority in June 2015 as part of the administration’s additional $2 billion investment in roads and bridges across the state.
“This project has been an ongoing priority for thousands of residents and travelers for decades,” said Governor Hogan. “With its completion, this highway will be safer for residents and visitors, encourage tourism, and support economic development not only in Worcester County, but across our entire state. Our administration remains fully committed to bringing congestion relief to all of Maryland.”
Phase Four improvements include a four-lane divided highway with 12-foot lanes and modifying access for residential and commercial properties with service roads, constructing a new bridge over Purnell Branch, stormwater management, and a center median.
ACCESS Initiative – Boosting Computer Science Education and Workforce Development Statewide
Governor Larry Hogan announced a comprehensive computer science education and workforce development plan, including a new executive order, proposed legislation, and $5 million in new education funding.
The governor’s plan, known as the ACCESS Initiative (Achieving Computer Science Collaborations for Employing Students Statewide), fulfills the commitment he made in joining the National Governors Association’s Governors Partnership for K-12 Computer Science in July. In joining the Partnership, the governor committed to strengthening computer science education across states for all students in order to meet the demands of a 21st century workforce and prepare students for the jobs of the future. Current estimates indicate that there are more than 500,000 open computing jobs across the country and over 115,000 total computer science-related jobs in Maryland.
Governor Hogan announces the ACCESS Initiative to boost education and workforce development in computer science.
“For nearly three years, our administration has worked tirelessly to build an unrivaled ecosystem of innovation and economic growth in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “We want to make sure that Marylanders have the tools and the skills they need to compete for 21st century jobs.
“In this rapidly-evolving job landscape, states that have access to a highly trained workforce will have a major advantage. Maryland simply must continue to lead the way, and closing this skills gap begins with a focus on education. We must spark the interest of students – particularly girls – beginning at an even younger age, and we must inspire high school and college students to pursue careers in computer science,” the governor continued.
While Maryland has a highly educated workforce and computer science-related industries are growing in the state, the demand is increasing at an even faster rate, and companies often experience difficulty in finding workers with the necessary training and skills. There are currently nearly 20,000 openings for high-paying computing-related jobs in Maryland – four times the national average – and while computing-related jobs in the state are projected to grow by another 12 percent over the next decade, in 2015, Maryland produced fewer than 3,000 computer science graduates.