Governor Martin O’Malley unveiled the Administration’s 2012 legislative agenda focused on job creation, innovation, sustainability, health care, and equal protection under the law, just days after releasing the Administration’s FY 2013 budget proposal focused on many of the same priorities.
“To move Maryland forward, we must be willing to make the modern investments our modern economy requires to create jobs,” said Governor O’Malley. “This session, our legislative agenda will help us create jobs for Maryland families, protect the quality of life for all Marylanders, and continue our push for a more sustainable future. Together, we can expand opportunity today, so that our children can compete and win the jobs and opportunity of tomorrow.”
In July, Governor O’Malley announced that he is sponsoring legislation for marriage equality, a bill that would ensure equal protection under the law for Maryland’s same-sex couples who wish to marry and their children while providing exemptions for religious institutions.
The Governor’s agenda includes legislation to create jobs through innovation, infrastructure investments, regulatory reform, and public-private partnerships.
The Administration’s legislative package also includes bills to promote a more sustainable future for Maryland. Following the 2011 regular session, the Governor created a task force to study the impact of the use of septic systems in Maryland, and the extent to which they contribute to the pollution of the Chesapeake Bay. Governor O’Malley is reviving the push for septics legislation this year with the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012, a bill that implements a four-tiered comprehensive plan to guide growth on central sewer and septic systems and ensure the land use and pollution impact of future Marylanders is minimized. The Governor will also fight to protect the State’s family farms by raising the exemption for some agricultural properties, and work to secure the future of the Chesapeake Bay through the Bay Restoration Fund.
Governor O’Malley will again seek legislation to promote offshore wind in Maryland. This year’s legislation will enable the State to harness the wind off Maryland’s shores and create thousands of jobs by establishing an offshore wind energy credit (OREC) within the Renewable Portfolio Standard program.
In the FY 2013 budget, the Administration will invest to provide access to health care for over one million adults and children in Maryland. This session, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown will champion the Administration’s legislation to create jobs by streamlining and improving the State’s framework for creating public-private partnerships, lead efforts to move the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to the next phase of development, and advocate for a series of geographically based Health Enterprise Zones in underserved communities impacted by health disparities to improve access to care among Maryland’s families and children.
“Governor O’Malley and I are focused on strengthening our communities by creating jobs and improving the health and wellbeing of all Marylanders,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Our legislative proposals will advance innovative ideas and tools to encourage private sector investment in job-creating public infrastructure projects, continue Maryland’s nationally recognized leadership in implementing health care reform, and to address health disparities by expanding access to primary care in underserved communities. I look forward to working with the General Assembly and all stakeholders to build consensus around these important priorities.”
Bill summaries for the Administration’s 2012 legislative agenda are available here