Governor O’Malley signs legislation boosting the horse racing industry days before 136th Preakness
Governor, Senate President, House Speaker add signatures to alternative energy measures
ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 19, 2011) – Governor Martin O’Malley today joined Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr, House Speaker Michael E. Busch, and Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown to sign important legislation aimed at making Maryland a winner in this new economy, including signing into law the Governor’s signature economic initiative this session, InvestMaryland. This $100 million tax credit program will fuel Maryland’s knowledge-based industries and stimulate at least $70 million in venture capital investments, creating thousands of jobs. Recognizing the need to secure our energy future and find more sustainable sources of energy to be a winner in the new economy, Governor O’Malley also added his signature to legislation promoting the use of electric vehicles, the support of waste-to-energy facilities, and the expansion of aquaculture in Maryland.
“We are in a fight for our economic future. It is a fight in which every state has an important duty to fulfill in creating jobs through innovation in a hotly competitive global economy,” said Governor O’Malley. “While cutting and balancing are important, they are not enough by themselves to create jobs in the new economy. Effective decision making must also make and protect strategic investments for a stronger future. Our legislative agenda this year focused valuable resources on job creating initiatives, and harnesses Maryland’s competitive strengths to make this new economy ours.”
“Maryland is well positioned to capitalize on economic growth after the global recession,” said Speaker Michael E. Busch. “Innovative programs like InvestMaryland, the biotechnology, nanotechnology and job creation tax credits will create new jobs and expand economic opportunities for businesses across our State.”
Governor O’Malley included in his legislative agenda this year a measure that criminalizes child neglect, treating as a separate crime the intentional failure to provide necessary assistance and resources for a minor. This protection was championed by Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown during the 2011 Legislative Session.
“As of today, Maryland is no longer the only state in the nation without a criminal child neglect law,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “By making child neglect a criminal act, we are sending a strong message that, in Maryland, every child deserves to be protected to the fullest extent of the law. Thanks to the leadership of Delegate Clagett and Senator King, who for years have fought to enact this law, as well as the hard work done by the General Assembly and all stakeholders, we are finally able to bring to justice those who intentionally put Maryland's children at substantial risk of harm.”
Lieutenant Governor Brown also testified alongside Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in support of the Maryland Lead Dust Testing legislation, which passed the General Assembly in April. Today, Governor O’Malley signed the legislation that strengthens current Maryland law by mandating the test for toxic lead dust in older rental properties.
“We applaud this action by the State of Maryland to strengthen the State's lead regulations. Lead dust testing is one of the best ways to ensure that homes are safe for children and this action makes Maryland's law one of the most protective in the country,” said Jon Gant, Director of theOffice of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Governor O’Malley also signed into law a special sales tax on alcohol, providing critical funding for health, developmental disabilities, community services, and public school construction. In addition to the restoration of cuts in these priority areas, this bill will have significant public health benefits. Studies show that by reducing harmful levels of alcohol consumption, particularly among teenagers and heavy drinkers, this three penny increase will save lives, reduce assaults and violence against children, and prevent almost 6,000 cases of alcohol abuse or dependence every year.
And just days before the running of the 136th Preakness Stakes, Governor O’Malley added his signature to legislation he sponsored which redistributes existing slots revenues to assist in the operations of Maryland’s racetracks, salvaging the racing season for next year and preserving thousands of jobs associated with Maryland’s horse industry. Late last year, after negotiations between all parties had broken down, Governor O’Malley brokered a last-minute deal that preserved the 2011 racing calendar, helping to keep Maryland’s treasured Preakness Stakes where it belongs and protecting the more than 28,000 people in Maryland’s horse industry. The legislation Governor O’Malley sponsored preserves the racing season for 2012, and likely for 2013 as well, allowing the parties involved to reach a more long term solution for the industry.