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In Case You Missed It: A Divided Government Doesn’t Have To Be Divisive. We’ve Proved That In Maryland.

From: The Washington Post

“While partisanship, dysfunction and gridlock have become commonplace in Washington, just 30 miles up the road, in Annapolis, we have chosen a different path. We recognized that people want elected officials in both parties to put an end to the culture of intolerance, intimidation and inaction, and just get to work.”


The Washington Post
Governor Larry Hogan
January 29, 2019

“A shutdown. A standoff. Then a ‘solution’ that means three weeks of waiting and worrying for federal workers just getting back on their feet, who will barely have time to deposit a single paycheck before having to wonder if the next one is coming.

“That isn’t governing — it’s just political theater, and millions of Americans are tired of the drama.

“There is plenty of blame to go around. Politicians on both sides of the aisle refuse to give up even a little to get a lot done. Neither side really wants to make progress; they just want to make demands and win arguments. Getting something done for the American people no longer seems to be a priority in the nation’s capital.

“While partisanship, dysfunction and gridlock have become commonplace in Washington, just 30 miles up the road, in Annapolis, we have chosen a different path. We recognized that people want elected officials in both parties to put an end to the culture of intolerance, intimidation and inaction, and just get to work.

“I am the second Republican governor of Maryland in half a century, facing a strongly Democratic-controlled legislature. We could have allowed the state to be paralyzed by partisan gridlock. Instead, we have spent the past four years working together to tackle common problems by accepting our shared responsibility to solve them. We have proved that a divided government does not have to be a divisive government.

“A particularly timely example is the basic hallmark of a functioning government: passing a budget. In Maryland, we have worked together to pass balanced budgets with little fanfare or brinkmanship every year since I took office. In Washington, they haven’t passed a complete budget since fiscal year 1997.

“The state has cut taxes, tolls and fees, and put money back into the pockets of families, retirees and small businesses. We cleared away the tangle of regulatory undergrowth and paved the way for historic economic performance and record job creation. The results speak for themselves — more businesses are now open and more people are working than ever before in Maryland history.

“The goal at every stage has been to promote common-sense, bipartisan policy solutions that achieve balance rather than playing to ideological extremes.

“This year, I’m urging the legislature to consider more than half a billion dollars in additional tax relief, while leaving $1.3 billion in reserves to guard against future economic downturns.

“In Maryland, we are providing tax breaks for mom-and-pop shops and for businesses locating in Opportunity Zones, and we are incentivizing employers to provide paid parental leave for workers. We are making unprecedented investments in schools and fighting for increased accountability standards so every child has access to a world-class education. We have also enacted major criminal justice reforms to break the cycle of incarceration and to lower the sentences for many nonviolent crimes. We need new legislation to ensure that repeat violent offenders are prevented from terrorizing communities.

“I read with interest a recent study by the More in Common international initiative that found that only 14 percent of Americans identify as either very liberal or very conservative. The rest make up what the researchers called an ‘exhausted majority’ of everyday Americans who see themselves as somewhere closer to the center.

“Some of the findings from this study broke my heart — such as the 72 percent of these Americans in the center who feel pessimistic about the state of politics and public discourse. But there’s a silver lining: Sixty-five percent said they want their leaders to listen to each other and compromise, and 77 percent believe that we can overcome the differences that divide us.

“These findings reaffirm what I already know: that we have always been, and remain, a hopeful nation. My experiences over the past four years have blessed me with optimism, not burdened me with dread. And I know from personal experiences that hope — not fear — is the most powerful emotion, and the author of humanity’s greatest achievements. I come from the get-things-done school of politics, and I’ll work with anyone who wants to do the people’s business. Our leaders in Washington need to do the same.”

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