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?
Malone: I support many of the preliminary areas of consensus from the Commission’s January 2018 report including, but not necessarily limited to: - requiring better preparation and support for teachers; - implementing a strong system of accountability; - developing rigorous college and career pathways that will enable students to graduate from high school with significant college credits and/or industry recognized credential; and - significantly increasing standards for teacher certification
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?
Malone: During prior gubernatorial administrations , I believe there was an imbalance of spending between transit and roads which left the majority of Maryland’s counties, including Anne Arundel County, on the short end of the stick. For bang for the buck, the advent of BaltimoreLink was a better use of funds than the Red Line.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Malone: I do not support the legalization of recreational marijuana. I believe recreational marijuana is a gateway drug.
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?
Malone: I believe Governor Hogan’s fiscal year 2019 budget in which he provides historic funding to ensure Maryland remains a national leader in enviornmental stewardship and includes a record $1.2 billion investment in wide ranging Chesapeake restoration reforms keeps Maryland on the right course. Furthermore, for the third year in a row and for the third time in State history, the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund was fully funded by the Governor and the General Assembly.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Malone: The right step was taken by the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly in passage of House Bill 1795 (Maryland Health Benefit Exchange - Establishment of a Reassurance Program) creating a structure for a reinvestment program to be administered by the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which is predicted to stabilize rates for the next several years.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Malone: A step in the right direction was also taken by the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly with the passage of Senate Bill 1137 (Criminal Law, Prohibitions, Prosecutions, and Corrections) which included Governor Hogan’s initiatives to make it easier to prosecute high volume drug deals and to add Fentanyl to the Volume Dealer Law. The General Assembly continued the Governor’s initiative to address Baltimore’s violent crime with the passage of Senate Bill 101 (Crimes of Violence and Drug Treatment) which eliminates parole for second time violent offenders and toughens sentences for anyone convicted of drug trafficking while using an illegal gun.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Malone: Maryland’s business climate is still lacking and in need of improvement. The Governor’s investment of over $26 million in the fiscal 2019 budget for work development programs to make Maryland’s workers have the skills and tools needed to meet the demands of the 21st century global economy will help.
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Malone: I support the creation of a nonpartisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census. Furthermore, during the 2018 Legislative Session, I introduced House Bill 1022 with 63 co-sponsors from both parties. The bill calls for Maryland’s Congressional districts to be drawn so that each district would be “of adjoining territory, be compact in form, and be of substantially equal population,” with due regard given to “natural boundaries and the boundaries of political subdivisions.” Article III, § 4 of the Constitution of Maryland mandates that state delegate and senatorial districts be drawn according to these standards, but Maryland’s Constitution does not include Maryland’s Congressional districts in that requirement. House Bill 1022 did not pass when the Democrat majority on the House Rules Committee failed to even discuss the bill or to vote it out of Committee. If the bill had passed, a proposed amendment to Maryland’s Constitution would be included on the November ballot, thus placing the gerrymandering issue squarely in the hands of Maryland voters.
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Malone: The Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR) does provide an appropriate balance for the police and the public.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Malone: I worked on a House workgroup committee to develop legislation to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis. The workgroup recommended House Bill 922 which I co-sponsored. The Bill established a pill mill tip line and requires coordination and interpretation of overdose reports. The workgroup also recommended House Bill 1092 which establishes a behavior health crisis response grant program; House Bill 359 enables first responder’s to efficiently report and track specific overdose information so that resources like overdose treatment can be allocated in near real time to respond to particularly potent opioids in a specific area; House Bill 1480 which requires dispensaries of CDS to report any suspicious order of CDS; House Bill 653 which requires health care providers both before prescribing a CDS to discuss why the CDS is being prescribed, and the risk of using it; and House Bill 1452 which requires license providers of controlled dangerous substances to complete two hours of continuing education on dispensing CDS. The passed legislation will hopefully make a dent in the crisis
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Malone: The state should continue to promote education in our schools and in workplaces so that all Marylander’s have a balanced chance to earn an adequate income.
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Malone: The public’s ability to know what is going on in all forms of Maryland’s government always needs to be enhanced to ensure appropriate oversight.