January 22, 2015

State Roundup, January 22, 2015

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HOGAN’S INAUGURATION: Gov. Larry Hogan emphasized the need for bipartisan cooperation and common sense solutions in his 2,000-word inaugural speech, according to MarylandReporter.com. But he also gave his Republican base some reasons to cheer with a call to “get the state government off of our backs and out of our pockets.”

TEXT OF SPEECH: The Baltimore Business Journal runs a full text of Hogan inaugural speech.

DAY IN PICTURES: A number of publications have run photo galleries of the day’s events.

Hogan shakes hands

Hundreds lined up to shake hands with the new governor and his wife in the State House rotunda after the ceremonies.

CHRIS & LARRY: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he and Gov. Hogan have a number of things in common. He spoke with Rick Seltzer of the Baltimore Business Journal after Christie’s introductory speech in Annapolis.

MCCORMICK’S FUTURE IN MD: McCormick & Co. Inc. CEO Alan Wilson was happy to hear new Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talk about business issues during his inaugural address Wednesday — but he wasn’t willing to say the new governor has changed his company’s thinking about potentially moving out of Maryland, Rick Seltzer reports in the Baltimore Business Journal.

HOGAN PULLS PHOSPHORUS REGS: Newly inaugurated Gov. Larry Hogan has pulled regulations on phosphorus output on state farmers from the next issue of the Maryland Register, effectively halting it from going into effect next month. A spokeswoman for the governor’s office said Hogan has stopped the publication of five regulations set to be published in the Jan. 23 issue of the Maryland Register, including the controversial standards put forth by the phosphorus management tool.

HELP FOR THE MENTALLY ILL: Former Del. James W. Hubbard and current Del.  Joseline Pena-Melnyk write in an op-ed for the Sun that when they worked together in the House of Delegates, they persistently sought to address the need for accessible services and adequate funding for the one in five Marylanders who need treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. That’s why they were disappointed to see long-overdue funding for behavioral health slashed by the Board of Public Works earlier this month as its members seek to close a state budget gap.

SMALLER SALARIES: Fiscal austerity under Gov. Larry Hogan apparently begins with the freshman Republican’s closest advisers, reports Bryan Sears in the Daily Record.  A spokeswoman for the new administration confirmed Wednesday that senior staff, advisers and Cabinet secretaries are, in most cases, being paid less than their predecessors under Gov. Martin O’Malley.

PETER & LARRY: Laslo Boyd of Center Maryland writes about how Comptroller Peter Franchot has been able to reshape his image and stay on the cusp on public sentiment, at times sounding quite in tune with new Gov. Larry Hogan.

GOV. RUTHERFORD: Ovetta Wiggins of the Post writes about the new lieutenant governor, Boyd Rutherford, who says he had been asked repeatedly over the years to run for public office. A lawyer with experience leading state and federal government agencies, Rutherford had all the makings of a viable candidate. But he had never seriously considered the requests.

NOTES FROM O’MALLEY: Former Gov. Martin O’Malley left a final entry in a blog to new Gov. Larry Hogan, offering some advice and insights into living in Government House and working in Annapolis. “The shame of your new duty is that the first thing you will be forced to give up — if you are not careful — is your solitude,” he wrote.  He went on to say speak about the children he meets on his walk to the State House and the inmates who work at the mansion, writes John Wagner of the Post.

IT FEELS GOOD NOW: Political commentator Barry Rascovar writes in Marylandreporter.com that, for at least a brief moment, Gov. Larry Hogan’s Era of Good Feeling ruled Annapolis. We’ll soon learn if his strong message of bipartisan harmony and mutual respect can survive the harsh reality of Hogan’s first, greatly diminished budget, which he’ll release Thursday.

  • Change came to Annapolis today with the inauguration of Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. as Maryland’s 62nd governor, just the third Republican to hold that post in the last half-century. But if his inaugural address and festivities are any indication, that change may be subtler than many would expect, opines the editorial board for the Sun.

INAUGURAL GALA: Thousands streamed into the Baltimore Convention Center on Wednesday evening for a gala celebrating the inauguration of Gov. Larry Hogan, reports Julie Scharper for the Sun. They shrugged off heavy fur coats, stamped road salt off high heels and straightened bow ties emblazoned with the flag of Maryland. This was their night to celebrate. Scharper talks with a number of Republicans at the event about their hopes for the new administration.

A FAMILY AFFAIR: Timothy Wheeler of the Sun writes that during the inaugural festivities, one little family member was competing with the new governor for attention. Larry Hogan’s 2-year-old granddaughter, Daniella Velez, fidgeted at times in the snowy cold as the singing, prayers and speaking droned on. During his address, Hogan acknowledge the love and support of his wife and daughters and the teachings of his father, former Rep. Lawrence Hogan Sr., who had bucked the Republican Party to call for President Richard Nixon’s impeachment in 1974.

SEAT PLEASANT MAYOR TAKES A SEAT: Among those witnessing the swearing-in of Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday was Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene Grant, who gained infamy last year after being evicted from his office in the municipal building and pitching a pop-up tent to meet with constituents, Arelis Hernandez reports in the Post.

QUICK ‘CHANGED:’ Rebecca Lessner of MarylandReporter.com writes that Republicans from the House and Senate kicked off inaugural celebrations early Wednesday, by hoisting a large yellow banner marked “Changed!” outside the back gate to Government House, the governor’s mansion. Sen. Wayne Norman of Harford County, who spearheaded its creation  and hanging of the banner, pointed across the street to his window in the James Senate Office Building, where he would be able to enjoy the new view until it was taken down, which happened within 90 minutes of its display.

BROWN CHECKED OUT: Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown officially left office Wednesday but one could make the case that he might have checked out a whole lot earlier, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Brown, who earned $125,000 annually — roughly $10,000 a month in taxpayer money — had been largely absent from the State House. His official Twitter accounts have been dormant since mid-December.