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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore reveals state plan with focus on safety, affordability

Gov. Moore lays out priorities for achieving key goals this year
Gov. Moore lays out priorities for achieving key goals this year 00:52

ANNAPOLIS -- Maryland Gov. Wes Moore revealed a new state plan Thursday. In his State of the State address, he said this would be Maryland's first state plan in nearly a decade.

The state plan outlines how Moore will operationalize his vision for Maryland, capturing the administration's top 10 policy priorities and implementation strategies. 

Moore, the former head of the anti-poverty Robin Hood Foundation, described the nonprofit as a data-driven organization and said he wanted to bring his experience using data as a tool from his former job to guide his leadership as governor.

"This is going to guide us," Moore said. "It's going to show exactly how we need to move, and it's going to make sure that we have core benchmarks as to what success looks like ... and we're going to have data that backs up our process."

According to the governor's office, Moore's plan complements his Fiscal Year 2025 budget and legislative agenda for the 2024 Maryland General Assembly—with each driving progress to make Maryland safer, more affordable, more competitive, and the state that serves this year.

"Our State Plan is about more than big aspirational targets. We've laid out specific, actionable, realistic, and measurable goals and built our priorities by listening to the people of Maryland," Moore said. "The plan is not just a reflection of our administration's aspirations – it's a reflection of Marylanders' aspirations. It will chart the course to get to work over the next three years."

Moore outlined his priorities in four pillars: safety, affordability, keeping the state economically competitive, and keeping Maryland a state that serves.

He adds these priorities and the state plan were built upon constituent needs. But, that's not all, Lt. Gov. Arena Miller said many others also took part.

"We received feedback from community leaders, elected officials, the legislature," she said. "So, the state plan really is like the blueprint for us in the administration and how we're gonna govern."

The governor's priorities include:

  • Ending child poverty 
  • Setting students up for success
  • Creating an equitable, robust, and competitive economy
  • Connecting Marylanders to jobs
  • Creating safer communities
  • Making Maryland a desirable an affordable home for all residents
  • Advancing infrastructure to better connect Marylanders to better opportunities and each other
  • Ensuring world-class health systems for Marylanders
  • Making Maryland a leader in clean energy and the greenest state in the country
  • Making Maryland a state that serves

"The reason that we have to have a focus on true measurements of economic mobility and sustainable economic mobility is because we are watching how generations of concentrated poverty continue to impact every single prospect that we have as a state," Moore said.

When it comes to his administration, Moore is looking to show his cards in this state plan.

"It doesn't just set the agenda for the next three months, it will chart the course we will take for the next three years," he said in his State of the State address.

Through this state plan, Moore said state government goals will be easier to measure and people will be able to track progress in real-time.

"Our state plan is about much more than just aspirational targets. The plan that we are going to lay out, it will lay out specific, actionable, realistic and measurable goals," he said.

Moore said much of the framework to improve education already has been created with the state's Blueprint for Maryland's Future. That's the state's sweeping education reform law that focuses on expanding early childhood education, increasing teachers' salaries, and providing aid to help struggling schools adequately prepare students for college and careers.

"We want to make sure that education is going to be the pathway to long-term economic success and long-term competitiveness for our state," Moore said. "We have to invest in it clearly, and we have to use data and metrics to be able to show that it's working."

He also underscored using data to enhance accountability in the expensive K-12 funding law that is being phased in at higher costs in future years.

"Everything has to have accountability to it," Moore said. "This cannot just be about funding numbers. That's not the only number that's going to matter. We need accountability. We need transparency."

The Governor's Office of Performance Improvement will continue to work on data availability, enhancing transparency, and elevating the use of data to drive decision-making, the governor's office said in a news release. The office will begin publicly reporting progress on key performance indicators in early 2025.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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