Baker unveils jobs plan in Pr. George's
The three-page plan (see below) was distributed to reporters as Baker spoke to 100 or so attendees, mostly union workers, after being introduced by a slew of local labor chiefs spanning the construction, food, hospital and public safety sectors.
The plan includes proposals to create jobs through: public works projects; the encouragement of development around Metro sites; tax breaks for those who purchase homes in blighted areas; favoring developers who have a history of hiring local workers; giving incentives to the 6,000-member county government workforce to spend money in the county; and putting more money into community college training programs.
However, many of the plan's components are dependent on yet-to-be secured federal and state funding, as well as General Assembly approval. And there are two things the plan does not include: An estimate of how many net jobs it will create, and an estimate of how much the program will cost.
"I don't know how many net jobs it can create. ... I don't want to put a number on it. ... We'll look at it and we'll get you a number," Baker said in an interview after the rally. "Most of the things we have in here, with the exception of some of the incentives ... are revenue-neutral."
Balance sheets aside, simply speaking to the jobs issue may be a net gain for Baker, who said job growth is the number two issue of concern among residents, behind education, according to his own polling.
As far as how Baker has secured such formidable union support? He made it pretty plain in his speech:
"When they ask whether I believe in labor agreements, you know what my answer is? Hell yes!" Baker said to applause. "Because those labor agreements provide career and labor opportunities for our folks."
Baker earned the support of key unions early on, in part with a pledge to never furlough public safety or education workers, a controversial cost-cutting measure employed by current County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D).
This post has been updated since it was first published.
June 2, 2010; 1:23 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , Jonathan Mummolo , Prince George's County
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