Republicans Respond to O'Malley's Final State of State - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Republicans Respond to O'Malley's Final State of State

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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is shown Thursday giving his final State of the State address in Annapolis. (Photo: WBOC) Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is shown Thursday giving his final State of the State address in Annapolis. (Photo: WBOC)

ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Some Republican lawmakers are responding to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's final State of the State address. 

During Thursday's speech, O'Malley looked back over the past seven years of progress, praising Maryland's education system and rebounding economy.  He attributed the state's rapid recovery post-recession to a focus on the middle class.

"In the past, our state, and indeed our country have been governed by a top-down approach, haven't they?" O'Malley said. "Hierarchical, bureaucratic, shouting orders from above.  But that's not the world we live in anymore."

But Del. Addie Eckardt, a Republican from Dorchester County, said the recession is still being felt on Delmarva, and that top-down approach is still happening.

"For us on the Eastern Shore, it seems like there are decisions made at the top level, and it's imposed through the regulatory structure," Eckardt said.

She also called into question the governor's claim that he had reduced spending by $9.1 billion, stating that this year's budget is $2 billion more than last year's, and the math does not compute.

Also during his speech, O'Malley went on to approach the topic of raising the minimum wage, his biggest push during this legislative session.

"Raising the minimum wage is not only good for the hundreds of thousands who will see a boost to their paycheck, it is good for every Marylander because it is good for our entire economy.  It's time to raise the minimum wage in Maryland," the governor said.

Del. Jeannie Haddaway, a Republican from Talbot County, who is also on David Craig's gubernatorial ticket for lieutenant governor, said the minimum wage hike would actually hurt businesses throughout the state.

"At a time when you're trying to create jobs, you want to do as little as you can to make people not want to create jobs.  I think it's a mistake to do it at this point in time," said Haddaway.

Although this O'Malley's last state of the state, he still plans to fight hard for the minimum wage boost, which would change it from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour by 2016.

The full state of the state address can be read here.

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