Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who has gotten off to a rocky start with Democratic legislative leaders, met privately Sunday with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and has reached out to House Speaker Michael E. Busch about getting together this week, aides said.
Both Miller (D-Calvert) and Busch (D-Anne Arundel) panned Hogan’s maiden State of the State address last week, saying it sounded too much like a campaign speech and contained few initiatives likely to pass in the two Democratic-led chambers. Miller called the speech “a fiction.”
On Monday, the Senate president said his breakfast with Hogan was an opportunity to exchange some frank advice. The new governor told the Senate president that he needs to be “more cooperative and to try to embrace the budget,” Miller said.
Miller said he then gave the governor some advice.
“I told him to use his personality. I told him that popularity is a very fleeting thing,” Miller said. “Populism can only take you so far.
“You need to tell the people the truth and you need to govern – and you need to govern from the middle,” Miller said. “The people at the extremes aren’t worth the powder to blow them up with, you know?”
Aides to Busch said that he and Hogan are trying to schedule a time to meet, possibly for breakfast, in the next few days.
Hogan is expected to formally introduce bills on Monday night that reflect many of the initiatives he touted in last week’s State of the State address, which was applauded by fellow Republicans. Hogan’s agenda includes several tax cuts, an expansion of charter schools and a tax incentive intended to help parochial schools, as well as some election-reform measures.
Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer characterized Sunday’s meeting with Miller as part of an ongoing outreach effort with lawmakers.
“As Governor Hogan has repeatedly stated, he is committed to bipartisanship and is meeting with both Democratic and Republican legislators to explore the many ways we can work together to make Maryland a better place to live,” Mayer said.
In an interview late last week, Busch said he had not met individually with Hogan since the governor’s Jan. 21 inauguration.
Alexandra M. Hughes, Busch’s deputy chief of staff, said that the speaker was happy to take the meeting.
“The speaker has the utmost respect for Governor Hogan and welcomes any opportunity to work with him,” she said.