As Maryland lawmakers prepare to end the 90-day General Assembly tonight at midnight, Gov. Larry Hogan joined Larry O’Connor to recap the legislative session. Listen as Larry spoke with Gov. Hogan about the various bills signed and topics discussed during the session.
During the interview, Gov. Hogan discussed the issue of students being over-tested in Maryland:
O’Connor: Let me ask you a little bit about what you did accomplish, some things that have gotten headlines. One thing that I think a lot of our listeners have been focused on is the schools in Maryland and I know that you passed one piece of legislation having to do with testing in the schools and limiting the amount of testing. Have our kids been over-tested and what is the new process going to be now for kids?
Gov. Hogan: Well the kids are being over-tested and we are all kind of in agreement with that, the legislature and the teacher’s union and the school system. But the bill that passed was kind of the worst thing that happened in this legislature session. There is this thing called ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act. It’s a federal act to try to give states the flexibility to improve persistently failing schools. And we had a – the State Board of Education – had a great plan for working on that. The legislature passed a terrible bill which basically prohibits us from making any improvements to any failing schools. And we are trapping kids in schools where they are just being denied an education and having no opportunity. It also potentially jeopardizes more than a billion dollars in federal funding for us not following the federal guidelines. So I vetoed that bill and unfortunately the powerful special interest at the teacher’s union got the veto overridden. And it’s going to really slow down our effort to improve schools.
Gov. Hogan also addressed Maryland’s sanctuary status pertaining to illegal immigration:
O’Connor: Gov. Hogan, what can you do as the Chief Executive of the State to push back on the feds and say ‘hey, you’ve got to do something about this’. And ‘by the way you should be paying for all the financial burdens Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County have to take up now because these are very expensive kids to teach’, Gov. Hogan?
Gov. Hogan: Well when this originally happened you know we did push back and we were opposed to the program where President Obama, where they put people in the state and we weren’t even aware of it, they didn’t even notify us. So we had no control over it and obviously we had no involvement in immigration. But we just pushed back again, just after this recent incident that you’re talking about where the legislature tried to pass a sanctuary bill in Maryland that would have prevented our local law enforcement and corrections departments from cooperating with federal employees so that when we had someone in prison, in the state prison system or in a local jail, and federal authorities said ‘we have a federal warrant, we want you to hold this prisoner for 48 hours’ this bill would have prohibited us from doing that and made us release the prisoners. So we immediately said we would veto the bill and it passed in the House but we were able to stop it in the Senate, thankfully. It was just a terrible piece of legislation.