Yesterday, Governor O’Malley delivered his State of the State address, a stirring reminder of all that we have to be grateful for as Marylanders and the difficult work that remains on issues like climate change and job creation. For video of the speech click here.
First, the good news: Through hard work and difficult budget choices we have been named the #1 state in public education, innovation and entrepreneurship, human capital capacity, research and development, businesses owned by women, and median family income. We have passed marriage equality and the DREAM act, two vital measures for moving us closer to full legal equality for all minorities. We have taken decisive action to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. We have cut spending without sacrificing public safety and health. And we have added jobs more rapidly than our neighbors. With your help, we will continue these positive trends.
But for Maryland to truly lead on the seminal issues of our time we must remain diligent in pursuing true change. As Governor O’Malley stated, the debate on climate change is over. There is no question that our planet is fundamentally changing. And so I enthusiastically welcomed the governor’s assertion that we must ignore those who say Maryland is merely a state, and any action we take will be too minuscule to have a significant impact. We have a duty to lead on this issue, part of which includes positioning Maryland at the forefront of the green energy revolution. Becoming the first eastern state to build an offshore wind farm would be a boon to our economy and a clean energy example for other states to follow. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to vote for this legislation this session.
And, hopefully, I will have the opportunity to vote to end the death penalty in Maryland as well. Politicians obsessed with cutting spending should look at this as an opportunity: The death penalty–which does not deter crime–is a financial burden. Life imprisonment is cheaper and ensures that no innocent man or woman is executed.
As always, I welcome your comments and look forward to hearing from you.