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O'Malley Gives State of the State Speech
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:18 PM EDT
Governor Martin O'Malley issued a plea Wednesday to members of the Maryland General Assembly to enact several of his key priorities this session.
In his seventh State of the State address before a joint session of the legislature, O'Malley declared "The state of our state is strong and we are growing stronger still."
He says no other state can say they are number one in education five years in a row.
After reducing most of the state's $1.7 billion deficit a few years ago, the Governor says Maryland is getting closer to eliminating its long term structural deficit.
Maryland is one of only nine states to earn a Triple A Bond Rating.
The Governor is now urging legislators to consider plans to boost transportation funding for mass transit projects like the proposed Red Line rail line which would run from Woodlawn to Canton.
O'Malley also wants to approve a plan to develop offshore wind energy.
"We will create jobs and will generate an abundant, clean and renewable energy," said the Governor.
In the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, the Governor wants legislators to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons.
"Who can see the pictures of young faces and honestly say we are doing enough," said O'Malley.
He is also asking lawmakers to pass a bill to repeal Maryland's death penalty.
But O'Malley, a Democrat, offered no specific proposal such as a hike in the gasoline tax.
Similar proposals have failed to pass in recent years.
Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, the House Republican Whip from the Eastern Shore, says "This administration has raised taxes on Maryland citizens 24 times and to add a gas tax to that at this time is inappropriate."