Built an Economy that Works for Everyone
Strengthened Maryland’s Economy
Under Governor O’Malley Maryland ranked #1 for innovation and entrepreneurship for three years in a row, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Maryland also ranked as one of the top three states for economic mobility based on workers’ ability to move up the earnings ladder, according to the Pew Center on the States. And Maryland achieved a faster rate of job creation than its neighbors Virginia or Pennsylvania, who tried to cut their way to prosperity.
Raised Maryland’s Minimum Wage to $10.10
Governor O’Malley brought people together, forged consensus, and raised Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10. Hundreds of thousands of Maryland workers will receive a raise, creating stronger customers for local businesses and good-paying, family-supporting jobs.
Protected Working Families
Governor O’Malley twice led the effort to expand Maryland’s refundable earned income credit, which puts more money in the pockets of working families. He also made Maryland the first state in America to pass a “living wage” for contractors working on state contracts.
Expanded Opportunities for All Marylanders
Governor O’Malley expanded opportunities for all Marylanders. The state ranks #2 in the nation for African-American median household income, and #2 for percentage of businesses owned by African-Americans. For the first time in state history, Maryland reached its MBE/WBE goals under Governor O’Malley – a goal which he raised the next year.
Made the Tax Code More Progressive
In the midst of the worst economic downturn in history, Governor O’Malley reformed Maryland’s income tax. Today, 86% of Marylanders pay less in state income taxes than they did before Governor O’Malley took office.
Protected the Dignity of All
Secured Marriage Equality
Governor O’Malley led the successful effort to pass marriage equality in the Maryland General Assembly. Then when the issue went to a statewide referendum, he led the campaign, helping Maryland become the first state in the nation ever to defend marriage equality at the ballot box.
Protecting the Rights of Individuals–Regardless of Gender Identity
Citing the need to create “an open, respectful, inclusive world we want for all of our children,” Governor O’Malley signed into law a bill banning discrimination against transgender Marylanders. Maryland was just the 17th state to add gender identity and expression to its anti-discrimination laws.
Fought for New Americans
Governor O’Malley welcomed New Americans to Maryland. He passed the DREAM Act. He signed legislation granting undocumented workers drivers licenses to make Maryland roads safer, and stood up for the rights of unaccompanied children at the border – Maryland housed more unaccompanied minors per capita than any other state. He ordered the state to stop automatically honoring federal detention requests, and for the federal government to house children with their families.
“It’s contrary to who we are as a people to hold children in camps… . Setting aside for a fact any concerns you have or any feeling you have towards these refugee kids, think about the sort of country we want to leave to our children. We are not a country that should send children away and send them back to certain death.” — Martin O’Malley at NGA
Expanded Voting Rights
While other states around the nation push stricter voter ID laws designed to limit people’s ability to exercise the right to vote, Governor O’Malley made it easier to vote in Maryland by expanding early voting and same-day voter registration.
Ended the Death Penalty
Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland repealed the death penalty and replaced it with life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Invested in the Next Generation
Led the Nation in Public Education
Under Governor O’Malley, Maryland’s public schools ranked #1 in America five years in a row, according to Education Week. Even in the height of the recession, while many states were cutting education spending, O’Malley invested record amounts in Maryland’s public schools, increasing funding by 37%.
Made College More Affordable
Governor O’Malley made higher education a budget priority and froze tuition for four years in a row. Under his leadership, Maryland did better than every state but one in keeping down college costs, according to the College Board.
Governor O’Malley expanded pre-kindergarten to 1,600 more children in Maryland and laid the groundwork for a further statewide expansion.
Turned Baltimore City Around
Made Baltimore City A Safer Place
O’Malley was elected on a mandate to make Baltimore safer. Under his leadership, Baltimore achieved the steepest reduction in crime of any major city, while bringing homicides below 300 per year for the first time in a decade. O’Malley also expanded services drug treatment, doubling funding and leading the way to a 30% drop in the number of overdose deaths.
Policed the Police
O’Malley’s administration took strong steps to police the police – increasing minority hiring, improving accountability, and fully staffing a civilian review board. Under his leadership, the city reduced police shootings to their lowest level in a decade.
Revitalized Baltimore’s Economy
As crime dropped under O’Malley’s leadership, commercial investment and housing values doubled. O’Malley also improved Baltimore’s schools, taking steps that increased graduation rates by 25% and made impressive gains in student test scores. Under O’Malley, Baltimore’s decades long population slide finally ended.
Restored Fiscal Management
O’Malley brought the city’s budget under control, producing the first surplus in decades, while cutting property taxes to their lowest levels in 30 years. These efforts in “very strong fiscal management” earned Baltimore a bond upgrade from negative to positive.
Kept Marylanders Safe
Achieved a Public Safety Trifecta
Under Governor O’Malley, Maryland drove violent crime down to 30-year lows, incarceration to 20-year lows, and recidivism down by nearly 15%. He signed legislation banning the box for state employment, expanded state partnerships for re-entry programming, and approved a process for automatically expunging criminal records where arrests did not lead to charges.
Governor O’Malley decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, allowing police to focus on addressing serious crimes.
Common Sense Gun Protections
Governor O’Malley made broad, common-sense reforms to reduce gun violence, including implementing a handgun qualification license requiring fingerprint background checks, an assault weapons ban, and a magazine capacity limit.
Launching a Jobs Agenda for the Climate Challenge
Saved the Chesapeake Bay
Governor O’Malley brought Marylanders together to reducing runoff and save the Chesapeake Bay. As a result, the State has reduced nitrogen loads by 14%, phosphorus loads by 15%, and sediment pollution by 18% while the State’s population has grown.
Embraced Renewable Energy
Governor O’Malley doubled the state’s renewable portfolio standard, setting a goal to increase in-state renewable generation to 20% by 2022. Since 2007, Maryland has grown its renewable energy generation by 41% and increased total renewable generation capacity by 56.9%. Maryland’s solar industry grew from near zero production to 173 MW by 2013.
Combatted Climate Change
Governor O’Malley established the Maryland Commission on Climate Change through executive order in 2007 and tasked the Commission with developing a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Protected Clean Air
Governor O’Malley signed Maryland’s 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, which set a statewide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 2006 levels by 2020. By 2012, Maryland had driven down greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10% compared to 2006, and by 20% compared to where Maryland would have been if no action had been taken (“business as usual” projections).
Keeping Marylanders Healthy
Expanded Health Care Coverage
Under Governor O’Malley, the number of Marylanders added to the state’s health system increased nearly 650,000. Maryland now enrolls more than 100,000 each year to the private health exchange. Maryland’s uninsured rate dropped 40%, the 9th largest drop in the United States, between 2013 and 2014.
Held the Line On Health Care Costs
Maryland is leading the nation in holding the line on health care costs. Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland implemented innovative reforms to its all-payer hospital rate setting system that are designed to hold down costs. One health care expert called those reforms, “without any question, the boldest proposal in the United States in the last half century.”
Led State Innovations
Maryland succeeded in implementing a comprehensive, statewide, private-public, secure Health Information Exchange to allow doctors and hospitals to share patient information (with their consent) producing better health outcomes. The O’Malley administration further drove down preventable hospitalizations by 11.5%.
Reduced Infant Mortality
Governor O’Malley publicly set goals for driving down Maryland’s infant mortality rate. Maryland exceeded that goal by nearly double, driving infant mortality rate down 21% between 2007 and 2012.
Fought for Women and Families
Maryland is ranked #1 in the Nation for Women
Under Governor O’Malley, Maryland was ranked the best state for Women in America. According to the Center For American Progress, “on matters of economics, leadership, and health, women, on average, fared the best in Maryland.” Maryland also ranked #1 percentage of women owned businesses, and #1 for lowest wage gap between genders.
Signed The Maryland Lilly Ledbetter Civil Rights Restoration Act
Governor O’Malley signed the state Lilly Ledbetter Civil Rights Restoration Act, to help women hold their employers accountable for pay discrimination.
Diversified The Court
Governor O’Malley appointed the first woman ever to be Chief Judge of Maryland’s highest court, and he named the first African-American female to serve on the court. That court, the Court of Appeals, now has a female majority for the first time in its history.
Defended Women’s Reproductive Rights
Governor O’Malley earned NARAL’s endorsement in 2010, and was honored by Planned Parenthood for his “his outstanding leadership in protecting and advancing reproductive rights in Maryland.” O’Malley signed the Family Planning Works Act giving 35,000 low-income women access to free pregnancy counseling, contraception, and cancer and STI screenings.
Enacted the Maryland Parental Leave Act
Governor O’Malley signed legislation requiring small businesses to offer six weeks of family leave without the possibility of job loss.