In his 2014 State of the State address, Governor O’Malley discussed the progress Maryland has made during his two terms to not only address the $1.7 billion structural deficit left by the Ehrlich administration, but to recover from the national recession. With a Rainy Day Fund of $800 million and Maryland recovering all of the jobs we lost during the recession, it is important to understand where Maryland’s economy now stands after the past seven years. While there is still work to do, Governor O’Malley and Democrats in Annapolis have fostered a positive business climate that has made Maryland a national leader.
After the national recession hit, Maryland’s unemployment rate peaked at 8% and the state’s revenue was diminishing. But because of Governor O’Malley’s choice to use a balanced approach- instead of attempting to just cut his way to prosperity like dozens of Governors across the country- Maryland was able to make smart, strategic cuts while protecting investments and priorities.
As we heard in Governor O’Malley’s State of the State address, the approach worked. While the Governor had to make the tough choices to cut over $9 billion in spending over the course of his administration, he also invested in the areas that are key to the State’s long-term success: education, public safety, infrastructure, innovation, a sustainable future, and healthcare.
Here are some of the highlights:
Maryland has recovered 100% of the jobs lost during the recession.
Over the last year, 99% of Maryland’s job growth came from the private sector.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Maryland ranks #1 in entrepreneurship and innovation for the second consecutive year. We are ranked as the #2 state for economic opportunity, according to The States Project, and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ranks our state among the five states best positioned to succeed in the new economy.
Additionally, Maryland ranks #1 in research and development per capita and #2 for science and technology assets in a study by the Milken Institute. Maryland’s success in entrepreneurship made our state the 4th ranked in the country for startups per capita according to Fast Company.
The tax climate in Maryland has also created an environment where businesses new and old have the ability to grow. According to recent studies conducted by the Anderson Economic Group and the Tax Foundation, Maryland businesses have one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation.
As a direct result of the work of the O’Malley administration, Maryland’s economy continues to recover from the national recession through job creation and a positive business climate that will enable Maryland’s entrepreneurs and innovators to continue to thrive for years to come.
You can view Governor O’Malley’s State of the State Address here:
This morning President Obama spoke in Buffalo, New York about the need to make college more affordable for more people across the country. Here in Maryland, the O’Malley administration has already made progress in keeping tuition costs low at colleges and universities across the state making Maryland a national leader in affordable college tuition.
Maryland is the only state to have frozen in-state tuition at state colleges and universities for four years in a row, keeping college costs low even in the midst of the recession. Tuition increases have been the lowest in the nation for over five years. By holding down the cost of college tuition since 2007, the University of Maryland System went from the 8th most expensive to the 27th in the country.
The number of Maryland students receiving degrees has climbed in recent years. There was a 22 percent increase in the number of Maryland students receiving Bachelor’s degrees from public colleges and universities between 2006 and 2012, and a 49 percent increase in Maryland students receiving Associate’s degrees from community colleges between 2006 and 2012. Keeping college costs low allows more Marylanders to attend and graduate from Maryland colleges and universities. With more Marylanders advancing from higher education institutions, more students are prepared to enter the workforce in Maryland.
The O’Malley administration’s Early College Innovation Fund, passed during this year’s legislative session, is designed to create partnerships that prepare high school students for higher education. The Maryland State Department of Education will distribute competitive grants to local school systems and higher education institutions that work together to design or expand early college programs in high schools. A priority of the fund is to promote and create early college programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects. By giving high school students the opportunity to participate in early college programs, they will be better prepared and more competitive when they attend colleges and universities.
This year’s budget continues the O’Malley administration’s commitment to higher education. Over $5 billion is being invested in scholarships, financial aid, and academic programs. By keeping college affordable, Governor O’Malley is ensuring that more Marylanders can pursue a higher education and graduate without being weighed down by crippling student loan debt.
Governor O’Malley and Maryland’s Democratic leaders see the inherent value of a college education and are continuing to work to ensure that college is affordable for all Maryland students.
As Maryland’s economy continues to recover, policies put in place by Governor O’Malley have fostered an environment that encourages
business growth and job creation. Over the past 12 months, Maryland created 35,600 new jobs. Our dynamic private sector led that growth creating nearly 9 out of every 10 new jobs In fact, Maryland has recovered 99 percent of the jobs lost during the recession compared to a nationwide rate of 76 percent.
To further develop opportunities for Maryland businesses, Governor O’Malley has worked to expand Maryland’s economy into the global market, making Maryland home to over 300 international companies, which come together to employ 105,000 Marylanders.
It is clear that job creation and business growth is a top priority of the O’Malley administration but the Governor knows that there is more work to do. That is why Maryland invests more than any other state into human capital through job training and education. This has led to the Chamber of Commerce ranking MD third in the nation for the talent pipeline and number one in the nation in entrepreneurship and innovation for the second consecutive year.
Maryland businesses are continuing to expand, create jobs, and grow Maryland’s economy. While there is still more to do and more people to put back to work, the actions of the O’Malley administration to foster a pro-business environment have Maryland business poised for further growth and job creation.