Governor Larry Hogan outlined his administration’s accomplishments during his past seven years in office and said one of his priorities in the 2022 Maryland General Assembly session will be to seek additional tax cuts for retirees, especially retired first responders during the first Leadership Café event hosted by Goucher College and the Greater Baltimore Committee on November 2.
“When I first took office in 2015, we changed the entire mission of state government to be unabashedly pro-jobs and pro-business. Since then, we’ve fought to improve education, healthcare, infrastructure, and the environment—all through a bipartisan, common sense effort that has brought together Republicans, Democrats, and Independents,” Governor Hogan said during an opening speech at the event held at the Sanford J. Ungar Athenaeum on the Goucher College campus.
The Governor was joined on the stage after his speech by Donald C. Fry, President & CEO, Greater Baltimore Committee, and Dr. Mileah Kromer, associate professor of political science and Director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher, who served as moderators for a question and answer session with the Governor.
The Governor said during the question and answer session with Goucher students, faculty and GBC members in attendance that as Baltimore continues to have challenges with crime and poor student outcomes in some of its public schools, his administration will continue to provide funding to Baltimore to address those issues.
In response to a student’s question about what Maryland could do to keep college graduates from leaving the state, the Governor said this was an important issue for the state and he wants to see college graduates choose to seek a job in Maryland after graduation. He noted that the state has the highest median income in the U.S. and therefore should be very attractive to graduates seeking to earn strong wages. He also noted that the state has an “innovative” program, under which those with student debt can borrow money to pay off their debt under a home mortgage product.
“We don’t want to lose the best and brightest,” the Governor said.
In response to another question from the audience about retirees leaving the state for lower tax locations, the Governor said it was a “huge problem” and that his administration has been pushing for tax cuts for retirees for seven years, but has only managed to get a portion of what he’s proposed passed by the legislature. Gov. Hogan said he plans to go back to the General Assembly early next year and propose additional tax relief for retirees “at all levels,” but especially for retired first responders, such as police officers and firefighters.
Another issue he plans to pursue in the 2022 legislative session, he said, was redistricting.
Two redistricting commissions, one appointed by Gov. Hogan and another by the legislature, have been holding public hearings to come up with redrawn congressional and legislative district maps. Hogan said during the event that he Maryland that he would fight the legislature if he thinks the map they want to approve is gerrymandered, even if it requires a court challenge.