Announces Executive Orders to Provide High-Speed Internet to Rural Maryland, Streamline Regulations
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today delivered the keynote address at the 2017 Maryland Municipal League (MML) summer conference in Ocean City, Md. In his remarks, the governor highlighted the administration’s efforts to spur economic development and job creation, improve infrastructure, and tackle the state’s evolving heroin and opioid crisis. In addition, the governor announced two new Executive Orders; one to create an Office of Rural Broadband and another to streamline and reform waste regulations.
“A little over two and a half and a half years ago, I stood on the steps of our historic state house in Annapolis and promised to put our state on a new path. We said that we were going to grow our private sector, put more people to work, and turn our economy around – and we have been doing exactly what we said we would do,” said Governor Hogan. “Today our state economy is stronger than it has been in more than a decade, and the Maryland Municipal League has been a great partner in that progress.”
Since the governor took office in 2015, Maryland’s unemployment rate has dropped from 5.4 percent to 4.2 percent, and the state has created nearly 100,000 jobs. The governor discussed his jobs initiative, the More Jobs for Marylanders Act, which was passed by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session, which provides tax incentives for manufacturing companies that create jobs in the areas of the state with the highest unemployment, including the Lower Shore.
Governor Hogan also addressed his administration’s unprecedented commitment to rebuilding infrastructure statewide, including an additional $2 billion in new transportation projects. There are currently nearly 1,000 transportation projects under construction across the state, and over $8 billion for roads and bridges in Maryland’s Consolidated Transportation Plan (CTP). The governor also reaffirmed his commitment to restoring Highway User Revenues to their historic levels.
Additionally, the governor called on members of MML to join with the administration to fight the ongoing heroin and opioid epidemic. In March, Governor Hogan declared a State of Emergency to allow improved coordination among state and local emergency management officials, government agencies, and community organizations, and committed an additional $50 million in new funding.
During his speech Governor Hogan also announced his execution of two new Executive Orders. Executive Order 01.01.2017.14 creates an Office of Rural Broadband, with an Executive Director who will work with local governments, tri-county councils, and key agencies and stakeholders, including the Maryland Broadband Cooperative, to provide statewide access to high speed Internet. The office will coordinate efforts with the Maryland Rural Council on the Connecting Rural Maryland Act of 2017.
“This new Office of Rural Broadband will ensure that everyone in Maryland will finally be able to have access to high-speed Internet,” said Governor Hogan.
Executive Order 01.01.2015.01 repeals the previous administration’s Zero Waste Plan for Maryland, a burdensome regulatory system that usurped local control and created unnecessary hardship for local governments. That plan will be replaced with a common sense, balanced approach to waste management and recycling.
Throughout his address, the governor emphasized the administration’s focus on service to communities in every region of the state.
“We promised MML that our administration would be accessible and responsive to communities in every single corner of the state. We promised that areas which had been ignored and neglected would no longer be forgotten,” said the governor. “Our entire team stand ready to assist you in your communities.”