Thank you all very much,
We're here to sign some bills which can be summed up in a word: "results." This session, we chose to move forward on a number of initiatives which have been proven to work and deliver results:
Results creating jobs and expanding middle class opportunity;
Results saving lives and improving public safety;
Results strengthening Maryland's workforce.
Better choices; better results.
Before we get to signing them, Mr. Speaker did you want to share a few thoughts? Mr. President, Lt. Governor Brown,
First up is the Firearms Safety Act: a comprehensive approach to saving lives which includes common-sense licensing; a ban on the sale of enumerated, military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines with greater than 10 rounds; and better data sharing and protections in the mental health arena. We also invested through the budget to improve school safety and mental health services.
In working through this legislation with Speaker Busch, Delegate Dumais and the House workgroup that the Speaker assembled, and Chairman Frosh in the Senate, we looked to strategies that have been proven to work and deliver results.
States with similar licensing provisions, for example, have substantially lower gun death rates than states that do not. Better choices; better results.
A special word of thanks to all the members of law enforcement and criminal justice communities. And thanks as well to everyone from the public health, victims' advocates, and faith communities, along with so many other organizations and individual citizens -- parents, hunters, civic leaders -- who were a part of getting this bill passed.
We are extending the DNA Law with the same goal in mind: to save lives. Since 2007, we've used DNA to produce 545 arrests. Today we continue moving forward. We are also signing new reforms to combat Human Trafficking. No longer will a defendant be able to assert that they did not know their victim's age as an excuse for trafficking a minor. In addition, we are removing bureaucratic obstacles that prevent law enforcement from seizing property used for human trafficking.
These public safety bills are designed to save lives. The Transportation Package we are signing will improve our quality of life and strengthen our Innovation Economy. It will create an estimated 57,200 jobs over these next six years, and inject $4.4 billion into Maryland's economy.
President Miller and Speaker Busch put many hours of work into making this a reality -- and they, along with their outstanding staffs, worked very closely with my team, led by Stacy Mayer and the soon-to-be-gone, but never forgotten Matt Gallagher. Special thanks are also due to County Executive Leggett, Chairman Kasemeyer, Chairwoman Hixon, Delegate Frank Turner, and the members of the Budget & Tax and Ways & Means committees.
To create jobs and expand middle class opportunity in a 21st century Innovation Economy we need a 21st century infrastructure. We also need a stronger workforce.
Senator Pinsky's and Delegate Kaiser's work on the College and Career Readiness and College Completion Act of 2013 will help us advance toward our goal of getting 55% of Marylander adults (25 and older) an Associate's Degree or higher by 2025.
Let's sign some bills.