Do you support the findings of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education? Are you committed to funding associated reforms, and if so, how?
Stein: Yes, I do support the findings of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (Kirwan Commission), and I am committed to funding associated reforms. I supported including $200 million in the FY 2019 budget to help fund the Commission’s recommendations. I also support the proposal, to be placed on this year’s ballot, for a Constitutional amendment that would require all casino money for education be put into a lock box (which would help with funding the Commission’s recommendations).
Is Maryland’s transportation spending appropriately balanced between roads and transit? Does the state have the resources to meet its transportation needs? With the cancellation of the Red Line and the advent of BaltimoreLink, is the Baltimore region adequately served by transit?
Stein: I believe that Maryland should be spending more on mass transit. The decision to cancel the Red Line was a major mistake. I would support a light rail system that connects Lexington Market with the Social Security complex. With the increase in the gas tax, the state should have the resources to meet its transportation needs.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Stein: I am undecided. I would like to see more studies on the impacts of legalization of recreational marijuana in other states.
At a time when the federal government’s commitment to Chesapeake Bay restoration is questionable, what new steps should Maryland take to protect this resource?
Stein: If the federal government eliminates funding for its Chesapeake Bay program, Maryland should replace its share of the lost revenue with state funds. MDE’s oversight of compliance with the State’s TMDL (total maximum daily load) requirements must remain strong.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Stein: I strongly supported legislation this year that seeks to shore up Maryland’s Health Benefit Exchange through a tax on insurance companies, and that requires Maryland to apply for a reinsurance program. The state must continue to support a stable health exchange and Medicaid expansion.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Stein: I supported this year’s legislation that provides stronger penalties for repeat gun offenders and additional resources for anti-violence programs, such as Safe Streets and witness intimidation programs.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Stein: I believe that Maryland’s business climate is positive. With a highly educated workforce, a top-notch health care system and incentives for biotech and life sciences companies, there are many reasons for businesses to locate in Maryland. However, I realize that Maryland’s corporate income tax rate is high and would support efforts to gradually reduce the rate so that it matches Virginia’s rate.
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Stein: Legislation in 2016 encouraged more civilian oversight and citizen participation in police review boards, which was a good development. Whether there should be other changes to LEOBR to adequately balance protections for police and the public, I honestly cannot say.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Stein: I have strongly supported expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) (including this year’s expansion), which is one of the most effective means for lifting working families out of poverty. I also support increasing the minimum wage.
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Stein: I support live streaming of proceedings in the House of Delegates and State Senate.