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Lawmakers praise State of the State

January 30, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

ANNAPOLIS - Washington County lawmakers praised Gov. Robert Ehrlich's first State of the State address Wednesday.

"I think it's just a breath of fresh air," said Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Allegany/Washington.

Under previous Democratic administrations, members of the majority-Republican Washington County delegation often found themselves at odds with the state's chief executive's priorities.

But on Wednesday, they found themselves listening to a speech that some said reflected their views on issues such as establishing charter schools and fighting drug use and gun violence.

"I'm pleased this administration is focusing on people preservation programs," said Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington.

Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, said the speech exemplified President Bush's notion of "compassionate conservatism."

"I am very proud to say he is our governor," Shank said.

Del. John P. Donoghue, the county's only Democrat, said it would be hard to disagree with anything Ehrlich said.

"I thought it was a very warm touch I've never seen before. It brought it all home," Donoghue said.

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Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, said it was the best State of the State address he's heard in 28 years in the legislature.

"It was incredibly uplifting. It focused on the problems of the state. There's no question he's determined to make this a better state," Munson said.

Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, said Ehrlich had a nice touch telling the real-life problems of people in Maryland.

"He really put a human face to the issues we're fighting," he said.

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