Governor Wes Moore reflects on the first 2 months
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said Thursday he aims for “the most comprehensive assault on child poverty” ever to happen in Maryland during his first legislative session, touching on a wide range of topics in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press .
The governor, a Democrat, spoke of concerns in the banking industry after second largest and third largest bank crashes in US historyhis support for President Joe Biden, his thoughts on reparations for slavery, expanding the use of electric vehicles and police reform during the interview, among other topics.
Two months into his tenure, Moore, who is Maryland’s first black chief executive and the third black governor ever elected in the nation, noted the historic nature of his landslide victory in November. He said his portrait will look “a little bit different” than those of white governors on the walls inside Maryland’s Capitol.
“I received more individual votes for governor than anyone else on these walls,” said Moore, a Democrat. “But I also know that Marylanders didn’t vote for me because they wanted me to make history. They voted for me because they believed in our vision.”
His proposal to expand and expand tax credits for low-income citizens moving forward in the democratically controlled legislature. His push to accelerate one minimum age increase to $15 an hour is also moving forward, but so far without a provision, he suggested creating automatic increases in future years to adjust for inflation.
Here is what the governor had to say on some key issues facing the nation and the state he governs:
In the wake of Silicon Valley Bank collapses, Moore, who is a former investment banker, said Maryland has had no significant impact. He said a big reason for that was, in part, the federal government’s quick moves to make sure depositors weren’t hurt and were covered.
“You have to make sure you have support for your small regional banks,” Moore said. “However, the other thing is that we want to make sure that the depositors are not the ones who get hurt by all of this.”
Moore said he is excited about the partnership that the state of Maryland has right now with the White House and Biden.
“I want that partnership to continue,” Moore said. “And I’m not just supporting President Biden’s re-election; I plan to help however I can.”
REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY
As the City of San Francisco ponders how to address the difficult question of how to atone for centuries of slavery and systemic racismMoore said he understands why people continue to debate the issue “because the consequences that we saw from the transatlantic slave trade still continue to be real in people’s lives now.”
“I also know that we have to move now to be able to address the issues of housing insecurity and food insecurity, the racial wealth gap, the educational disparities — the things that we know right now we can get done,” Moore said. We have an obligation to move with a sense of urgency so that we don’t continue to see families who have often been historically disadvantaged continue to be disadvantaged by policies that we still continue to put in place .”
Moore has stood in full support of Democrats in the Legislature to enshrine abortion rights in the Maryland Constitution and other measures to protect abortion rights in the state.
“As long as I’m governor, Maryland will be a safe haven for abortion rights,” Moore said.
The governor announced this week that Maryland will move forward with requiring all new vehicles sold in the state to be electric by 2035, as California has decided.
“Is it going to be difficult? Yes. Is it bold? Yes. Will Maryland get it done? Absolutely, we will,” Moore said. “And that means we’re going to focus on things like the electrification of the grid so that we actually have the infrastructure in place to be able to manage it.”
Moore said he supports an expansion of police reform laws approved two years ago in Maryland. Part of those reforms requires the Maryland attorney general to investigate police-involved deaths, but leaves local prosecutors with the decision to prosecute. Legislation developing in Maryland would give the attorney general the authority to independently prosecute officers.
SEX IMPLEMENTATION OF CHILDREN
The governor said he supports advancing legislation in the state senate to end the statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit against a public or private entity for child sexual abuse.
“I support the bill because I think that in order for us to actually really work towards making it right for the individual and for that victim, we need to make sure that there are laws that respond to that pain still continues to persist,” Moore said.
Moore, who met with the General Services Administration last week about Maryland’s intense competition with Virginia to be the site of a new FBI headquarters, said he is confident the administration will listen to the concerns raised by him and members of the state’s congressional delegation about the evaluation process has been unfair to Maryland. Maryland officials claim the Virginia location is more expensive and will take longer than either of the two Maryland locations under consideration.
Moore emphasized that he has already appointed the most diverse cabinet of secretaries ever to lead state agencies in Maryland.
“I think Maryland is on America’s mind right now because I think what we’re able to do inside the state of Maryland and show that democracy can be not just participatory but inclusive,” Moore said. “And that’s what makes it powerful.”