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Letters to the Editor

Somerset Economic Impact Scholarship
It’s always good to see how quickly government can work for our people.
One of my initiatives for the 2017 Maryland General Assembly session was to procure monies to begin the Somerset Economic Impact Scholarship program, the goal of which is to make a Wor-Wic Community College education more affordable for Somerset County students.
On the day of the bill hearing, I was joined by several local officials – Somerset County Commissioners Randy Laird and Charles Fisher, Superintendent of Somerset County Public Schools Dr. John Gaddis, and Wor-Wic Community College President Dr. Ray Hoy – who came to Annapolis to testify in support of this most important measure that would create education and vocational opportunities for our Somerset County citizens.
As an experienced legislator, I had a suspicion that the bill wasn’t going to make it out of committee, meaning we would be left waiting yet another year for this opportunity to occur.
With this in mind, immediately after the hearing concluded, I asked my distinguished guests to return to my office. I placed a call to Gov. Larry Hogan’s staff, and asked if his lead education people could join my guests while they were in town. I hoped we might discuss the importance of the project, so that it could take effect for the upcoming school year.
We were joined shortly thereafter by the governor’s staff. When that meeting ended, we had a good feeling about enhancing our chances for a positive outcome. Within days, Gov. Hogan released his supplemental budget, which included $87,659 to initiate this much-needed program.
As reported in the Daily Times this week, (“More Shore students ditching debt load for Wor-Wic scholarships,” July 31) I was most pleased to see Mallorie Dryden of Marion Station and others be awarded these scholarship monies. Congratulations, Mallorie, and all applicants who will receive this scholarship opportunity.
My thanks to Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver and the Wicomico County Council, whose efforts to offer Wor-Wic scholarships for Wicomico County residents inspired this legislation for my constituents in Somerset County.
Thank you also to the team of Gov. Hogan, the Somerset County Commissioners, Dr. Gaddis, and Dr. Hoy for providing the citizens of Somerset County this great opportunity. What a tremendous example of government working efficiently, quickly, and together for the people we are elected to serve.
Sen. Jim Mathias