Hogan Talks Gas Tax, Inflation, and Potential Russian Cyberattacks on CNBC’s Squawk Box – CBS Baltimore
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Governor Larry Hogan explained how Maryland was the first state to implement a 30-day gas tax suspension to offset price pressures brought into play by the war in Ukraine on CNBC’s Squawk Box Tuesday.
Hogan spoke to CNBC’s Becky Quick about how state lawmakers moved quickly to ease ‘pain at the pumps’, crossing party lines to ensure Marylanders had access to gas more affordable for their vehicles.
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Prices soared as Russia bombed several cities in Ukraine nearly four weeks ago, prompting its citizens to flee to neighboring countries.
“Here in Maryland, instead of arguing over who is to blame, we decided to take immediate action,” Hogan said.
Both Houses of the Maryland General Assembly Bills passed unanimously authorizing the tax holiday on Thursday.
hogan signed it on Friday.
Comptroller Peter Franchot, whose office regulates fuel distribution in the state, said the tax exemption takes effect immediately and lasts until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 16.
People saw the effects of the bill within 48 hours of signing it.
“I think that makes a huge difference to the average consumer and I can tell you the average price across the country is around $4.25 – we’re down about $3.75 so we’re 50 cents a gallon cheaper than most…one of the lowest in the whole country.And I have people all weekend all over the state thanking me because they saw the difference.
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Hogan thinks other states will replicate the gas tax legislation, which he described as “extremely popular.”
Hogan also spoke about inflation and potential cyberattacks from Russia.
Regarding inflation, Hogan noted that Maryland’s economy “is booming.” But there is a growing price burden on consumers due to rising inflation, he said.
As for state cybersecurity, Hogan said he thought it was likely that Russian President Vladimir Putin would try to get revenge for the economic sanctions that were imposed on his country.
The threats are real, he said.
“I think he’s going to try to fight back and we have to be prepared for that,” Hogan said.
The Maryland Department of Health was attacked end of 2021 when a new variant of COVID-19 was circulating and data on the spread of the virus was critical.
Maryland Department of Health Cyber Attack Update • Servers will remain offline as a precaution
• Data updates will resume as soon as possible⁰ • No evidence at this time that data has been compromised @wjz
—Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) December 6, 2021
The state government shut down parts of its website to minimize the damage.
Hackers frequently target government infrastructure. In 2021, schools in Baltimore County had to shut down online learning after a cyberattack.
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And in 2020, hackers hit Greater Baltimore Medical Center affecting some of their information technology systems.