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?
Corderman: The preliminary report of the Kirwan commission shows the commitment that needs to be made to early childhood education, elevating the Teacher Profession, better preparing our High School students, and providing more resources for our At-Risk Students. The General Assembly took the first step this year by setting aside $200 million to put towards these initiatives. Looking forward to the final report later this year so we can find ways to properly support these essential initiatives.
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?
Corderman: Redistributing the Highway User Funds back to pre-recession levels to the local communities is essential for our entire state to move forward with our transportation initiatives. The state has committed over $450 million to ease congestion on the Baltimore Beltway. The state also recently committed and assisted with the emergency repairs of the Baltimore subway system and has made a significant financial commitment of the DC Metro system.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Corderman: This decision ultimately could be left up to the people of Maryland, by way of referendum. This is not just an issue isolated to Maryland but also our surrounding states as each year other states have enacted legalization initiatives. However, Maryland needs to stabilize the medical marijuana initiative that has been plagued by controversy from the beginning. That being said, all of this may remain moot unless there are changes in regards to the classification of Marijuana on the federal level.
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?
Corderman: Thankfully the EPA recently restored funding to the Chesapeake Bay however Maryland will continue to protect the Bay even if the Federal government wavers in their commitment.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Corderman: Maryland recently passed legislation to stabilize health care in Maryland for the short term however this issue must be addressed federally going forward so that truly affordable health care is available all Marylanders throughout the state.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Corderman: Maryland will continue to support Baltimore as well as all communities throughout the state in addressing violent crime. Focusing on Repeat Violent Offenders is a good first step to addressing this epidemic. However, at the same time, a focus on the socio economic issues that create and manifest these violent outbreaks must be examined to determine how we can help curb the violence before it begins.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Corderman: Maryland’s business climate is much improved. According to the Sun, Kauffman Index Latest Growth Entrepreneurship Report, Maryland ranks fourth nationally in growth of entrepreneurship. Moving forward, Maryland must address and begin to lower their Corporate Tax Rate in order to be more competitive with other nearby states.
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Corderman: Yes, gerrymandering has been issue within our state for far too long. Clearly the maps were previously redrawn in an unfair manner. Going forward, it is essential that a non-partisan body is able to look and redraw these maps to ensure far elections and proper representation throughout the state of Maryland.
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Corderman: Yes, the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights does balance protection for those in law enforcement and the public. Any changes would need to be negotiated with all parties involved; the state legislature should not be used as a vehicle to circumvent or bypass that process.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Corderman: The opioid and overdoes crisis affects communities not only throughout Maryland but across our entire nation. We need to focus on putting away the high volume dealers, provide resources for treatment to the addicted, and work towards job creation and societal integration with the rehabilitated.
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Corderman: The best thing that Maryland can do to address income inequality is to put that energy and focus towards education. An educated community translates into a skilled workforce which attracts sustainable businesses and that is what ultimately overcomes income inequality.
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Corderman: There has been legislation presented in the past that would require the General Assembly to make available to the public live and archived video streaming of each meeting of the Senate of Maryland, the House of Delegates of Maryland, and a standing committee of the General Assembly, including any hearings or voting sessions. This needs to continually pushed until enacted to give more Marylanders the ability to view these proceedings.