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Maryland Gov. Moore Creates New Department, Cabinet Post

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore kicked off his first days in office with budget announcements and a series of executive orders, one of which will establish a new cabinet position within the administration.

Wes Moore takes the oath of office as his wife, Dawn, and children look on as he becomes the 63rd governor of Maryland.
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore
Image courtesy of Wes Moore (Facebook)
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore’s first days in office began with the signing of two executive orders and making a major budgetary announcement, and followed up this week with the news that the state's chief data officer will retain his post.

In a press release Jan. 23, Moore announced that Patrick McLoughlin would stay on as the state's chief data officer. McLoughlin has nearly 20 years of public- and private-sector data experience and was tapped as the state's first data officer in November 2021 by then Gov. Larry Hogan.

One of the executive orders Moore signed on Jan. 19 restructures the state government by establishing the Department of Service and Civic Innovation. The department will also come with a new cabinet position; Moore noted in a tweet that he will be nominating a secretary “in the coming days and getting to work.”

He wrote that the department will be the home of the “service year option,” an opportunity Moore championed throughout his campaign in which high school graduates will have a chance to spend a year in community service to develop skills and create more equitable pathways into the workforce.

The other executive order that he signed establishes standards of conduct for executive branch employees. These ethical standards will help govern employees of the state of Maryland.

The standards outline specific actions that should be avoided by employees, such as soliciting or accepting gifts or bribes. They also outline specific actions employees should take, like disclosing instances of fraud or corruption to appropriate authorities. The order states that violations are grounds for disciplinary action including termination.

In addition to signing these executive orders, Moore announced the release of $69 million in funding in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget that were previously withheld.

The funding will be directed to critical programs and services. $10 million will support the startup costs of implementing a paid family and medical leave program in the state, $46.5 million will support cannabis reform in the state, and $3.5 million will support the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program to ensure safe abortion care.

"This action shows a fundamental shift in how the administration approaches the budget and our relationship with the General Assembly as we boldly act on critical issues facing Marylanders everywhere like climate change, paid family and medical leave, cannabis reform, and abortion care," Moore said in the announcement.

These funds were authorized by the Legislature last year.