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O’Malley signs economic development bills into law

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s top three elected officials are calling the General Assembly session that ended at midnight the most productive they’ve ever been a part of.

Gov. Martin O'Malley and offshore wind

Greenbelt resident Michael Hartman shakes hands with Gov. Martin O'Malley on Tuesday morning in Annapolis as a bill incentivizing offshore wind energy development is signed into law by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record.)

Gov. Martin O’Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch – the three most powerful Democrats in the state – said their success during the 2013 session was borne out of a spirit of cooperation.

“I think you can sum this session up with collaboration and cooperation,” said Busch, an Anne Arundel County Democrat.

Miller, the Democrat from Calvert County who has presided over the Senate for 27 years, called 2013 “probably the most successful session of my lifetime.”

With the entirety of the O’Malley administration’s agenda passed by the legislature during its annual 90-day session, the three men met for a ceremonial bill signing Tuesday morning in a State House reception room.

Legislation incentivizing the development of offshore wind energy, changing procurement rules for public-private partnerships and creating an employer-driven jobs training program highlighted a list of bills that O’Malley said focused on bettering Maryland’s economy.

“There is no progress without jobs,” O’Malley said, before posing for photos with dozens of proponents of the offshore wind energy bill, which officials say could create a thriving new industry in the state. “The heart of all new job creation is really in innovation.”