ANNAPOLIS — Speaking on the morning of the General Assembly session’s start, Gov. Larry Hogan urged Maryland legislators to “put aside the politics and try to get things done.”
“The last thing anybody wants to see is Annapolis become Washington,” Hogan said Wednesday at the Annapolis Summit event, sponsored by The Daily Record and hosted by Marc Steiner.
Hogan, a moderate Republican up for re-election this year, made reference to what is expected to be a bitter campaign in a state where Democrats control the legislature and outnumber Republicans 2-1.
He said he neither endorsed, campaigned for nor voted for Donald Trump but predicted his Democratic opponents will link him to the president’s controversial immigration, environmental and tax policies, which the governor says he opposes.
“I know they want to tie me to Trump on every single issue,” he said.
The governor also addressed the record number of homicides in Baltimore last year, saying he has been “working tirelessly” with Mayor Catherine Pugh and police Commissioner Kevin Davis to quell the violence.
Hogan also said he has called together the state’s “federal partners” for assistance, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. attorney’s office.
Hogan said he will seek a strengthening of anti-racketeering laws to combat the violent gangs in the state and endorses mandatory sentencing for repeat, violent offenders.
Hogan characterized crime as a stubborn, decades-old problem that is neither “going to be solved overnight” or remedied with stronger law and order. He called for great job training to give “people hope for a better future” and an improved public transportation system to get them to those jobs.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch are also participating in the Annapolis Summit later this morning.