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News from the House: Luedtke to Rebut Hogan, Howard to Lead GOP Business Outreach

House Majority Leader Eric G. Luedtke (D-Montgomery) has been tapped to lead the Democratic response to Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s State of the State address on Wednesday evening.

Since Hogan became governor in 2015, House and Senate Democrats have taken turns when it comes to offering a response to Hogan’s annual speech.

Luedtke is a sharp Hogan critic who was an integral part of the legislature’s efforts to shape and pass the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, an expensive and expansive education reform package, which Hogan vetoed last year. Both legislative chambers are expected to consider overriding Hogan’s veto next week.

Hogan is delivering the speech virtually, instead of in the House chamber, before a joint session of the General Assembly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the traditional noontime start, Hogan has opted for an evening address in hopes of attracting a wider audience.

The speech can be viewed on the governor’s Facebook and YouTube pages, and will be broadcast live on Maryland Public Television and also live-streamed on MPT’s website, Luedtke’s rebuttal will also be available on MPT’s platforms.

Meanwhile, the House Republican Caucus announced Tuesday that Del. Seth A. Howard (R-Anne Arundel) will become chairman of the caucus’ Business and Economic Committee, which, GOP leaders said, will work with business groups across the state to support measures to strengthen Maryland’s economy and nurture job growth.

“As a small business owner, Delegate Howard is uniquely suited for this position,” said House Minority Leader Nicholaus R. Kipke (R-Anne Arundel). “He understands the many challenges businesses face, not only during the COVID-19 pandemic but also as they struggle through the red tape, high taxes, and regulatory burdens heaped on them from state and county governments. He has a good working relationship with members on both sides of the aisle and with business advocacy groups.”

Howard, who is in his second term, is the owner of a tobacco shop in Severna Park. His appointment was hailed by leaders of three statewide business organizations.

“Maryland’s businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Howard said. “I look forward to serving in this role to make Maryland more business friendly. When Maryland’s businesses thrive, our state flourishes.”

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News from the House: Luedtke to Rebut Hogan, Howard to Lead GOP Business Outreach