Alexander & Cleaver's Government Relations President Rob Garagiola welcomed a standing room only crowd at the Annapolis Westin Hotel atA&C’s 17th Annual Policymaker Breakfast to hear firsthand what to expect from the General Assembly and new local county leaders when the Legislature convenes in mid-January. Clients from every aspect of the business and non-profit worlds were welcomed by the team of not only Rob, but former Speaker Cas Taylor, Robin Shaivitz, newly named Government Relations Directors, Lorenzo Bellamy, Lyle Fowlkes, and Hannah Garagiola, and team members Tyler Bennett and Kerry Watson.
Speaker Mike Busch led off the individuals who addressed over 125 guests. Busch was followed by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, State Comptroller Peter Franchot, Budget and Tax Chairman Ed Kasemeyer, Education Health and Environmental Affairs Chairman Joan Carter Conway, House Economic Matters Chairman Dereck Davis, Anne Arundel County Executive Elect Steve Schuh, and Howard County Executive Elect Allan Kittleman. The messages were very clear. First, we are facing a time of divided government not only here in Maryland but nationally and it's time for each side to put away their campaign mode and become statesmen and women eager to work together on policies important to Maryland citizens. Each speaker pledged cooperation with Governor Elect Larry Hogan and stated their belief that there were strong signals from this election on directions to take in the coming years. Second, there is a sobering budget picture that will require sharpening of pencils and the best minds working to develop a plan that will meet the serious needs of Marylanders including education and health care, without requiring additional tax burdens on businesses large or small.