Good morning everyone. It is great to be here with Speaker Busch, President Miller, Lt. Governor Brown, and colleagues from the General Assembly. Thank you for your willingness to take on some big, important challenges this year.
As we begin, President Miller did you want to share a few thoughts? Speaker Busch, Lt. Governor Brown.
Bill Signing: Thank You's
This session, we continued to make the better choices -- many of them difficult choices -- that are delivering better results for middle class families.
Jobs and opportunity, public safety, public education, and public transportation, the health of our people and the health of our planet, the dignity of every individual. These are all things that brought us together this session.
To govern is to choose. In Maryland, we understand the things that actually work to reduce violent crime,
more effective policing, better technology, and smarter strategies. Entrepreneurial, collaborative, relentlessly interactive strategies,
Strategies like establishing the Maryland Center for School Safety, which we're signing into law today. Strategies that have enabled us to drive down violent crime and homicide in our State to three decade lows.
We also have a moral responsibility to stop doing the things that are wasteful, and that are expensive, and that do not work. Therefore, we are signing into law today a repeal on the death penalty in Maryland.
I want to thank Benjamin Civiletti, who led the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, some 5 years ago. That work, that understanding, and that ability to bring people together, so that all of us could talk openly and honestly and confront our fears, and also confront the truths that unite us, was also a big part of what enabled us to get to this point.
Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP, is also here today. Thanks also to Senator Gladden, Senator Raskin, Senator Frosh and Senator Zirkin in that effort. As well as Delegate Rosenberg, Delegate Dumais, and Delegate Vallario.
Better choices, better results. Today, we're also expanding the days, hours, and locations for early voting, and we're providing for same day registration,
so that more people, not less, can take part in the greatest of freedom's privileges.
Special thanks to Senator Dyson, and Delegates Cardin and Reznik for your work, and to the State Board of Elections.
We also have the Maryland Health Progress Act, which fully implements the Affordable Care Act in our State, and expands healthcare to even more Marylanders. In the past six years, we have expanded health care coverage to over 375,000 previously uninsured Marylanders, nearly half of them children. It is our goal to increase that number to 400,000 by end of 2013, and this law will bring us one step closer.
A big thank you to Lt. Governor Brown, not only on this bill but also over the last three years of ACA implementation, and to Chairman Middleton and Chairman Hammen.
And with job creation always as our #1 priority in Maryland, we're also signing the Cybersecurity Tax Credit to help early stage cyber security companies thrive in Maryland.