Senator defends state’s dependence on feds

Sen. James C. Rosapepe (Photo: Maryland State Archives)

A state senator drew comparisons to Texas in defending Maryland’s business acumen Monday in remarks to a group of nonprofit leaders.

Sen. James C. Rosapepe, D-Prince George’s and Anne Arundel, called the state “blessed” to be so close to Washington, D.C. and the investment that comes with that proximity.

“One of the criticisms is we’re too dependent on the federal government,” Rosapepe said. “I would argue that it’s a little bit like saying Texas is too dependent on oil.”

About 10 percent of Maryland’s civilian workforce is made up of federal employees, a point that was hammered home during Congress’ fiscal cliff debate.

The issue remains sensitive, as lawmakers raised taxes but delayed potential spending cuts that could cut into the federal ranks and potentially reduce contract spending, too.

Despite that volatility, Rosapepe said it made sense for Maryland to tie its economy to federal spending.

“We’re blessed with being right next to Washington, D.C.,” he said. “The proof is in the pudding. We’re the wealthiest state in the United States.”

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