BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan talked about how Maryland was the first state to implement a 30-day gas tax suspension to offset price pressures put into play by the war in Ukraine on CNBC’s Squawk Box Tuesday.
Hogan talked to CNBC’s Becky Quick about how state lawmakers acted quickly to alleviate “pain at the pump,” crossing party lines to ensure that Marylanders had access to more affordable gasoline for their vehicles.
READ MORE: Maryland Zoo Closes Aviaries, Moves Birds Indoors To Head Off Avian Flu
Prices have skyrocketed as Russia has bombed various cities in Ukraine nearly four weeks ago, prompting its citizens to flee to neighboring countries.
“Here in Maryland, instead of arguing about who’s to blame for it, we decided to take immediate action,” Hogan said.
Both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly unanimously passed bills authorizing the tax holiday on Thursday.
Hogan signed it into law on Friday.
Comptroller Peter Franchot, whose office regulates the distribution of motor fuels in the state, said the tax holiday 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 when it was signed.
“I think it makes a huge difference to the average consumer and I can tell you that the average price across the country is something like $4.25—we’re down around $3.75 so we’re 50 cents a gallon cheaper than most . . . one of the lowest in the entire country. And I have people all weekend all over the state thanking me because they saw the difference.”
READ MORE: Most Maryland Kindergarteners Aren’t Ready For School, State Assessment Finds
Hogan believes that other states will replicate the gas tax legislation, which he described as “overwhelmingly popular.”
Hogan also talked about inflation and potential cyberattacks by Russia.
On 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 the state’s cybersecurity, Hogan said he believed it was likely that Russian President Vladimir Putin would try to get revenge for the economic sanctions that have been leveraged against his country.
The threats are real, he said.
“I think he’s going to try to retaliate and we’ve got to be prepared for it,” Hogan said.
Maryland’s Department of Health was attacked in late 2021 when a new variant of COVID-19 was circulating and data on the spread of the virus was critical.
Update on the cyber attack at the Maryland Department of Health •Servers will remain offline out of an abundance of caution
•Data updates will resume as soon as possible⁰•No evidence at this time that any data 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, Baltimore County schools had to shut down online learning after a cyber attack.
MORE NEWS: Capitol Riot Suspect Is Granted Refugee Status In Belarus After Fleeing US
And in 2020, hackers hit Greater Baltimore Medical Center affecting some of their information technology systems.