Governor Moore Delivers Address on Maryland’s Budget, Installs Officers at the 2023 Maryland Association of Counties Winter Conference

Published: 12/7/2023

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore this evening attended the 2023 Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Winter Conference inaugural banquet. Governor Moore presided over the installation of MACo’s new officers and delivered remarks on Maryland’s fiscal health. 

The governor discussed the Moore-Miller Administration’s proposed transportation capital budget and spoke candidly about the disciplined approach required to address structural budget shortfalls that started to emerge before he took office. He also emphasized the critical value of trust and partnerships at a time when Marylanders are counting on their elected representatives to deliver.

Governor Moore speaks at the 2023 Maryland Association of Counties Winter Conference.

​Preceding his remarks this evening, Governor Moore installed the 2024 Maryland Association of Counties officers. Howard County Executive Calvin Ball is the outgoing Maryland Association of Counties president and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. is the incoming Maryland Association of Counties president.

Excerpts from Governor Moore’s remarks as prepared:

“Trust demands transparency and truth, even if it’s hard. This evening, I offer both – to you and to the people of Maryland.”


“In this challenging time, we have a duty to act with discipline. Because discipline is what the people of Maryland deserve. And by acting with discipline, I believe we can build a better state for the long-term – and strengthen the bonds of trust.”


“Our administration did not create the budget gap. But let me be very clear: We refuse to ignore it, and we refuse to push policies that will only make it worse. We might not have caused this problem, but we will address this problem.”


“If we don’t make hard choices now, Maryland’s budget challenges will grow. We will have fewer resources to supercharge our economy. We will have less power to win the decade. And the public won’t trust us to use their taxpayer dollars responsibly.”


“Marylanders feel like they’re paying a lot – and aren’t getting the best in return. I believe we have a responsibility to invest in our priorities. But first, we need to build a strategy for investment that shows the public we can deliver results in a sustainable way.”


“The State of Maryland has been funding transportation in the same way for a decade! [...] If the CEO of a company uses the same anemic business model for ten years in a row, their business won’t grow. And if your governor uses a transportation formula from ten years ago, we won’t be able to solve problems of the future – we’ll be stuck in the past!”


“The transportation trust fund has become so outdated that fixing it requires a comprehensive look at how we fund transportation in the first place.”


“The people of Maryland chose this administration because they wanted to change how state government works. They chose this administration because they know it’s time for us to choose the hard thing over the easy thing.”


“Making hard choices doesn't mean we stop solving problems. In year two, we will keep saying ‘yes’ to many of the priorities we focused on in year one.”


“I plan to introduce around a dozen bills this year. Together, they will help us build a more competitive economy, protect and elevate our communities, and position our state to win the decade.”


“The work does not stop. The partnership does not end. The year will be hard. But I have never been more optimistic about the future of our state. Because we will tackle this moment together. [...] I’ve always believed you can never learn anything about anyone when times are easy. You learn about someone when times are hard – when you’re tested – when the only choices left are tough choices. That time is now.”

View the full remarks as prepared here.

View the full address here.

Here is what Maryland leaders are saying about Governor Moore’s remarks and vision:

“There is no question that we face a severe shortfall in State transportation funding that needs to be addressed. The current proposal applies to a six-year time frame, and much can happen over this period as solutions to the funding challenge are developed and implemented,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. “An important silver lining is that the proposal maintains funding for planning and engineering for projects that are not yet ready for construction, so important projects will continue to advance on track through pre-construction, even in the near-term.”

“As we navigate through these challenging economic times, we must exhibit fiscal responsibility and foresight. It is imperative that we adopt a strategic approach to managing our current state’s finances,” said Maryland State Treasurer Dereck E. Davis.  

“We were elected to lead, and leadership is about doing the hard things. We need to innovate and ensure we hand Maryland off to future generations in a better condition than we found it. Presence and partnership matter, and Governor Moore has proven that he is going to show up for all Marylanders,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “I am confident that through open lines of communication and consistent collaboration, we will ensure the best quality of life for all. I look forward to working with the Moore-Miller Administration as we work to address this challenge across our great state.”

“It's refreshing to have a governor who understands the fiscal challenges that we face,” said Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman. “I look forward to working with the Moore-Miller Administration and other county leaders to build the transportation systems that will deliver the economy we need to uplift all Marylanders.”

“Governor Moore’s and Lt. Governor Miller’s Administration has to make some tough decisions to address a significant transportation budget gap, choices that will have an impact in every jurisdiction across this state,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “I appreciate the Moore Administration’s efforts to be open, transparent, and frank regarding this budget challenge. The State model for transportation funding is broken and not sustainable. We need a fresh look at resources and how we fund projects going forward. So I look at the governor’s proposal not as the end of that discussion but rather as the beginning of a new one. One thing that is clear to me, and I believe most other leaders, is that we need to invest in transportation because of its critical importance for economic growth, and that we need to understand it as an investment, not simply as an expense. I look forward to working with the Governor, Lt. Governor, the General Assembly, MDOT, and fellow County governments around the State on finding the most effective way of facing these current economic challenges, funding our transportation priorities and infrastructure needs, and creating more economic development and jobs in order for our residents and businesses to thrive.”