VIDEO RELEASE: Governor Hogan Delivers Keynote Address at Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today delivered the keynote address at the 2021 Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) summer conference in Ocean City. In his remarks, the governor highlighted the state’s continued health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and urged county leaders to utilize federal rental assistance funding as soon as possible.
Following are excerpts from the address:
Coordinated COVID-19 Response: “Seven years ago, I committed that our administration would work with MACo to build a true partnership with our county governments, and that our administration would be more accessible and responsive to you and your needs. I want to thank my entire cabinet and our staff for working closely with all of you and living up to that commitment. Never has our close collaboration and partnership been more important than over the past 18 months.”
Vaccines: “Through our No Arm Left Behind mission, our state has administered more than 7.4 million COVID-19 vaccines. Eighty percent of Marylanders 18 and older are already vaccinated, and we have vaccinated 94% of Maryland seniors, making Maryland one of the most vaccinated states in America.”
Rental Assistance: “For more than a year, we have been working to keep people in their homes—committing more than $110 million in relief dollars for renters six months before receiving an additional $400 million from the federal government, which was distributed to county governments who are closest to the needs of their constituents.
“Unfortunately, so far, only about 20% has been spent by the counties. Some counties are doing pretty well, including Carroll, Cecil, Howard, and Prince George’s, which have already utilized a sizable portion of their funding. But others are lagging far behind.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to get this relief out the door as quickly as possible, and our team at the Department of Housing and Community Development is available around the clock to assist you.”
Infrastructure Investment: “Now that we have successfully transitioned from a state of emergency into an ongoing public health management response, we are renewing our focus on the long-term health of our economy by continuing to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure, which is critical to creating jobs and improving the lives of everyday Marylanders and Americans.”
Connect Maryland: “Maryland has set an ambitious goal of ensuring universal broadband to every single person in the state by no later than 2025. Connect Maryland is the game-changing initiative that is going to get us there, and we very much look forward to partnering with all of you to make it a reality.”
Economic Recovery: “Thanks to all of our hard work together, Maryland truly is leading the nation in both health and economic recovery from this one-in-a-generation pandemic. I am pleased to report that Maryland has now added more than 56,000 jobs so far this year, including the more than 22,000 jobs announced yesterday that we added in the month of July alone. Our unemployment rate is at its lowest level since the pandemic began, and more jobs are available in our state than ever before. Maryland has remained open for business, and a new national survey recently ranked Maryland as the most improved state in America for business.”