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ICYMI: Hogan Slammed for Vetoing Bipartisan Bills

Jun 03, 2021

Last week, Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan vetoed over a dozen bills passed by the Maryland General Assembly. The bills — many of which received broad bipartisan support — would have guaranteed infrastructure funding, provided tax relief to working families, and improved the state’s procurement process after Hogan’s botched COVID-19 test scandal. Hogan received broad criticism for the vetoes, including from the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board:

Baltimore Sun Editorial:  Gov. Hogan’s vetoes: all about political self-interest

“There’s something awfully peculiar when a governor vetoes legislation that passed the General Assembly with just a handful of dissenting votes, as did the bill to provide more transparency in emergency procurements.

“For example, his veto of the Local Tax Relief for Working Families Act (Senate Bill 133/House Bill 319). In reality, the measure was fairly simple. It gave local governments the right to set income tax rates on a sliding scale instead of a flat tax. This is known as a bracketing, and it means a person making a million dollars a year might face a slightly higher tax rate than a family pulling in a five-figure income.

“But for a politician who was so openly critical of Donald Trump, he’s got more than a few qualities in common with him. And that’s probably not an accident. The governor has demonstrated an interest in the 2024 presidential race, but he knows he has to sharpen his Republican credentials if he’s to survive his party primaries.

“His opposition to procurement transparency or even legislation mandating local and state planning for the next pandemic may well stem more from how such reforms might validate criticism of his own stewardship of the crisis than his alleged concerns about cost or red tape. Yet the net result is that Maryland will be less prepared for the kind of health crisis that a COVID-19 variant might yet offer.”

“Once again, Larry Hogan has shown that his top priority is not the people of our state, but his political future. Instead of working for Marylanders, Governor Hogan is only worried about preventing scrutiny of his own COVID-19 test procurement failure,” said Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis. “It is deeply unfortunate, but not surprising that Larry Hogan vetoed legislation to provide working-class families tax relief, protect immigrant communities, and guarantee transit funding for Maryland. He has long opposed infrastructure investments in our state, including the Baltimore Red Line, the Purple Line expansion, and President Biden’s transformative infrastructure plan.”