Minimum Wage, Abortion Mark Governors’ 2014 Addresses
- January 24, 2014
- By Pamela M. Prah
From raising the minimum wage in Maryland to ending abortion in Mississippi, governors continued to lay out blueprints for their states’ upcoming legislative sessions. Governors in Maryland, Delaware and Mississippi were the latest to deliver their annual State of the State speeches this week, touching on themes ranging from ways to make their states more business-friendly to more spending on transportation.
• Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, laid out a proposal Thursday to spend $1.1 billion over five years to improve roads and bridges, a $500 million increase over the state’s current financial plan. He also called for cleaning up waterways and teaching manufacturing skills to high school students. He also said he was “glad that the General Assembly is poised to increase the minimum wage.”
• In Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, delivered his final State of the State address Thursday, calling on legislators to expand access to prekindergarten classes and raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2016. The governor, who is term-limited, also acknowledged the "failure" of Maryland's health care insurance exchange. He called it "a great source of frustration," but said his administration will continue to enroll as many Marylanders as possible by the March 31 deadline.
• Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, focused on social issues and jobs in his annual address Wednesday. He said every resident “deserves to be born into a mature, two-parent family,” and he stated his goal “to end abortion in Mississippi.” He also said he wanted to make Mississippi “the most job-friendly state in America,” promising to unveil a state-of-the-art system that matches job seekers with employers.