WASHINGTON — The morning after the Maryland General Assembly finished their session, Gov. Larry Hogan signed 115 bills into law, including some of his most important priorities.
Among the bills signed Tuesday were the More Jobs for Marylanders Act, which created tax incentives for manufacturers to create jobs to parts of the state with high unemployment rates, such as Western Maryland, Baltimore and the Eastern Shore.
Hogan also signed an ethics reform bill which clarifies the definition of a conflict of interest and extends the amount of time state officials have to wait before becoming lobbyists. He called it “the first real meaningful ethics reform in 15 years.”
The governor didn’t sign a bill requiring employers with more than 15 workers to provide paid sick leave, a measure he had previously called “dead on arrival.” He didn’t veto the bill either; he has 30 days from passage to decide what to do with the bill, which passed last week.
Hogan also signed a bill which put off for two years a scoring system for state road projects; he had wanted a full repeal, and said it would kill road construction.
Hogan, a Republican, signed the bills on Tuesday while flanked by Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch, both Democrats.
“I believe this is how government is supposed to work,” Hogan said. “We have disagreements, but we try to reach common ground.”
Hogan laughed and joked with the two Democratic leaders. At one point, Miller took an opportunity to give a shout-out to fellow senators present for the bill signing, including Sen. Richard Madaleno, a Democrat from Montgomery County who’s eyeing a run for governor.
Miller noted that Madaleno was a former staff person, and said, “Once a staff person, always a staff person. So he’s checking up on everybody in the place, making sure everything’s getting done.” Hogan interjected, “I know he’s checking up on me!”
That cracked up the room, and Miller got another big laugh when he replied without missing a beat, “He should be, governor; he should be! We’ve got 20 people assigned to you!”
WTOP’s Kate Ryan and The Associated Press contributed to this report from Annapolis.