Governor Hogan: Eastern Shore a focus in 2019
Annapolis, MD –
A breath of fresh air or a new chapter. Regardless of how you want to think about 2019, for state legislators it’s a new beginning.
It’s a chance to turn over a new leaf and tackle the challenges that have been overlooked or forgotten. Many of those issues will be taken up early and the effort will be led by the re-elected leader of Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan who met with 47 ABC’s Ryan Eldredge on Wednesday to talk about his agenda.
“Let’s talk about the agenda this year as we look forward. We have a lot on the plate for Maryland and the Eastern Shore and we know that some opportunity zones have been identified by the federal government and the state. Those areas include Denton, Salisbury, Cambridge, Snow Hill, Crisfield, Princess Anne, and others. How are you going to help, not only the entire Eastern Shore, but those areas specifically?” asked Ryan Eldredge.
“These zones we are very excited about. The federal government passed a bill that creates big incentives. People get capital gains waived if you invest in these communities that really need an extra boost, so money will be available,” answered Governor Larry Hogan. “We thought they may need more help to generate jobs and opportunities so we’re zeroing in and our “More Jobs for Marylanders Act is going to be expanded into those areas. We have them in every single county, you mentioned the ones on the shore, but we will waive state taxes and expedite approvals, and work with local governments to make sure they get zoning and permitting faster. We’re going to take a look at every state funding source, grant program, everything we can to focus on those jurisdictions and super charge these opportunities and help with the redevelopment of those areas and what we can do to improve those communities and create more jobs for folks on the shore.”
“I know technology infrastructure has always been big on your plate; high speed Internet, things of that nature; but this time you have a plan in place to really attack that. Could you explain how that will help underserved areas on the Eastern Shore?” asked Eldredge.
“We now have high speed Internet all the way down to Crisfield which is a huge step in the right direction. A lot of the companies that we were hoping to attract that would put people to work were concerned they couldn’t operate,” said the Governor. “We’re trying to get rural broadband across the state and the first step was the shore. We’re having similar operations in Western Maryland because in this day and age you should have access to fiber optic cable and high speed Internet, no matter where you live. And I think it’s gonna help the citizens who live there and help us attract businesses and jobs.”
“Is there one key item for the shore that you may need the help of our legislators with?” said Eldredge.
“I think you have a great team of legislators for the shore. You have a few new folks coming in or people who are changing positions,” said Governor Hogan. “We are excited to welcome them back and we will work with them on education, transportation, and crime issues in a couple locations. Everyone focuses on Baltimore but we’ve got issues in Salisbury and other areas. Your team on the shore is great and they help us a lot to get things done.”