ANNAPOLIS, Md.- It was a message of bipartisanship, optimism, and the economy. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's State of the State address on Wednesday captured the hearts and minds of the Republicans, and also some of the Democrats.
Hogan entered the room to applause, took the stage, and made his address.
"Last year I challenged each of us to put aside partisanship and to work together on behalf of all Marylanders. And together, we answered that call," said Hogan.
Hogan's address touched on the past year's budget, which included no tax hikes. He mentioned giving money back to the taxpayers, successful bipartisan implementation of controversial bills like the phosphorous management tool, and the repeal of the rain tax. For Republican Del. Jeff Ghrist of Caroline County, the main message was cooperation.
"A lot of these ideas, it doesn't matter if they come from the left or right, Democrat or Republican. He just wants to move our state forward in a very bipartisan way, and that was really the big takeaway from his speech," said Ghrist.
"The initial statement that he made was very profound. Compromise over conflict," said Democratic Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes of Wicomico and Dorchester counties.
Sample-Hughes does say the speech lacked recognition for groups other than businesses.
"One of the things that concerned me that I didn't here today were the benefits of our non profits and our community action agencies that have been in the trenches for years through our collapse of the economy, as them being partners in this effort," said Sample-Hughes.
Republican Del. Mary Beth Carozza of Worcester and Wicomico counties called the speech uplifting.
"You look at the progress and the foundation that Governor Hogan has laid with the general assembly in a bipartisan way, what we've been able to accomplish together," said Carozza.
The Maryland Democratic Party issued the following statement in response to the address:
“General Assembly Democrats offered common sense solutions for Maryland’s middle class on college affordability, retirement security and pay equity. The Governor is so out of touch with middle class concerns that he failed even to mention these issues. Today’s speech demonstrated that General Assembly Democrats have a vision for strengthening Maryland’s middle class, and Larry Hogan doesn’t.”