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O'Malley: 'Capital' trip is first of many to Hub City

May 20, 2008

Recently, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and I were proud to bring the cabinet to Washington County to declare Hagerstown "Capital for a Day." Since our capacity for progress is not confined to the walls of the State House, neither should our state capital.

But I wanted to take a moment to thank Mayor Robert Bruchey and the people of Hagerstown for the hospitality that they showed to me and all the members of our cabinet.

There are wonderful things happening in Hagerstown and Washington County that we all should be proud of in our One Maryland.

Last year, Washington County gained 1,800 new jobs and saw $130 million in new investment, and I am proud of the role our state government has played to protect Hagerstown's priorities.

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Together, with partners like Del. John Donoghue and state Sen. Don Munson, we have made investments in transportation projects, public education, school construction, the University System of Maryland's Hagerstown Center and much-needed equipment for our correctional officers.

As just one example, during the first two years of the O'Malley-Brown administration, we have invested $18.3 million in school construction for Washington County - $733 million statewide - compared to just $4.4 million in the first two years of the previous administration.

And as I shared with the Hagerstown-Washington Chamber of Commerce, Washington County will continue to grow and prosper because of the hard work of so many, but also because of our commitment to maintaining our quality of life and the investments we are making to expand and improve our workforce.

Another shared priority of our administration is improving public safety. That's why I spent the afternoon meeting with correctional officers at the Maryland Correctional Training Center and touring the innovative K-9 program at the Division of Correction's K-9 Headquarters and Training Center.

This year, at the Hagerstown facilities our intelligence units are on track to exceed past years' seizures of weapons and drugs, thanks to the hard work of our correctional officers. I am proud that we were able to secure funding for additional correctional officers and stab-proof vests to help our officers perform their duties safely and effectively.

Our officers provide a vital public service to keep violent offenders off our streets and keep our communities safe.

During these first 14 months of the O'Malley-Brown administration, we have come together as One Maryland to make real and steady progress for the people of our State, and I was proud to share that with the people of Hagerstown during our Capital for a Day program.

I sincerely thank the people of Washington County and Hagerstown for their hospitality, and I look forward to many more visits in the future.

Martin O' Malley is the governor of the State of Maryland.

To e-mail him, go to www.governor.maryland.gov/mail/

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