OPINION: Agenda for Our Future - Southern Maryland Headline News

OPINION: Agenda for Our Future

By Martin O'Malley, Governor

Earlier this week, Lt. Governor Brown and I released our 2009 legislative agenda that focuses on protecting Maryland's #1 ranked public schools, improving public safety in every region of our State and strengthening the safety net for Maryland's families and workforce during this national economic recession.

Yet, as we work with the Maryland General Assembly, we have also been partnering with our federal delegation and the Obama-Biden Administration to make sure Congress moves forward quickly to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These proposed stimulus dollars, if approved, will allow us in Maryland to continue putting our children first, invest in public safety, and continue rebuilding Maryland's infrastructure, creating jobs here at home and injecting valuable funds into our economy.

But we need your help, and I am urging each of you to reach out to your federal representatives. Our leaders in Congress are working hard for Maryland's families, but they need to hear from you.

Along with this proposed stimulus, our legislative and budget priorities are to protect the progress we have made, continue to improve public safety in every community and every home in our State, and provide vital resources and assistance to Maryland families struggling to make ends meet during this national recession. We will do everything in our power to help our families through this recession, but we will not abandon the progress we have made to build the Number One ranked school system in the nation, make college more affordable, improve the health of the Bay and ensure a more sustainable future for our children. These are critical challenges facing our State and now – even in these tough times – is the time to move forward again, protect our progress and build that future that we all prefer as Marylanders.

For the summary of each initiative, visit http://www.governor.maryland.gov/documents/2009BillSummaries.pdf .

Our legislative agenda is comprised of a number of public safety initiatives, including a repeal of the death penalty in Maryland, a strengthening of protections for victims of domestic violence, and a prohibition of the State Police from conducting surveillance on individuals without reason. It also includes reforms to protect Maryland's workers in these tough economic times, such as the extension of unemployment insurance benefits to part-time workers and the reduction of the prevailing wage threshold. Finally, our legislative package lays the groundwork to further Maryland's Smart, Green and Growing initiative to protect Maryland's precious, yet limited, natural resources in every region of our State.

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