2018 Primary election results

Monica A. Worrell

Monica A. Worrell
  • Republican
  • Age: 53
  • Residence: Havre de Grace

About Monica A. Worrell

Education

I am a graduate of Maryland’s public school system. (Parkville Senior High – 1982). When I graduated from high school, my mother could not afford to pay for college, yet that didn’t stop me from pursuing an education. I received several scholarships and worked full time while attending Towson State University. Unfortunately, while in 1986 while working full time and living on my own, it became too difficult to attend classes full time. Yet finishing college never stopped being a personal dream. In 2004 with two young children of my own, I planned to go back to school. As we were lining up resources to make this possible, the tenant in the rental property my husband and I owned; moved out. With a second mortgage to pay, it seemed I would have to put my education on hold again. Instead, my mother came to me and said that she wished she could have afforded to pay for my schooling when I first pursued a college degree. As a single parent with limited resources she was unable to do so at the time. “I couldn’t then, but I can now,” she told me. With her help, I returned to school. In December of 2010, I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Business Administration from Strayer University. A Harford Leadership Academy graduate (1993), I also completed the Academy for Excellence in Governance through the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy in 2017

Background

I have been employed by a medical eye care practice, Advanced Eye Care located in Bel Air MD since 2012. I am also currently serving as a Havre de Grace City Councilwoman, first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2017. For the past 35+ years, I have worked in both the private and public sector. I have worked for local government, public safety, hospitality, restaurants and tourism and am currently employed in the healthcare field. I have owned and operated my own business. From 2007 to 2012, I served as the Public Information Officer for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. In the mid 90’s, I served as the Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator for the City of Havre de Grace’s Department of Planning. I spent over 25 years of my career in the hotel/restaurant and tourism industry. My career in food service began in the early 80’s at Burger King. I finished my career in hotels/restaurants as the Vice President of Hess Hotels Group and owner of Charley’s Grilled Subs and Wholly Cow Ice Cream in Edgewood MD. I have served in leadership roles on a myriad of state and local boards, commission and committees to include Harford County Chamber of Commerce, Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce, Maryland Tourism Council, Harford County Tourism, Harford County Economic Development Advisory Board, the Route 40 Business Association and the Susquehanna Workforce Network to name a few.

Questionnaire

1
Kirwan
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?
Worrell: While I applaud the work and findings presented by the Kirwan Commission to date, I am not fully convinced that it is ready to present for consideration. I find the study to be a forward thinking model and worthy aspiration for our educational system. My concern is that it is not founded in fiscal reality. I would not support its implementation unless it could be fully funded. I would not support the study, if the only solution was to push the costs on to our counties. We cannot continue to pass on unfunded mandates. That being said, there are several elements of the study that I do believe could be implemented more cost effectively than others. Specifically 1) more even distribution of school funding to counties with a requirement to report back on dollars spent, 2) Increased early educational programs beginning as early as age three, 3) improving the Career and Training Education programs so that students meet employment standards in a rewarding career after graduating high school, in addition to being ready to enter an open enrollment post secondary institution, 4) restructuring of compensation for teacher and school leaders so that can be compensated more as they improve their skills and take on more responsibility. Before we can move forward there needs to be more education to the educators about the results of the commission with adequate time to comment and weigh in on the findings presented.
SHARE THIS ANSWER
2
Transportation
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?
Worrell: There’s an old saying that you can’t build your way out of congestion. One does, however, need to meet the needs that currently exist. While determining what public transportation options are most critical, it is important to look at all geographic areas individually and not focus on only one or two areas. There is no one size fits all for our infrastructure needs. If the qualities of our roads are sub-standard, then that road needs to be prioritized. Even most public transportation options will be using the road systems in some form or another. As an individual aspiring to represent Harford County in Annapolis, I don’t see a balance in spending levels across the State. As a smaller county with a large number of drivers and out bound commuters, we are faced with the challenge of attending to our existing roads. I agreed with Governor’s Hogan plan to shut down the Red Line project and was pleased to see the Highway User Funds (HURs) restored for counties and municipalities. Permanently restore municipal highway user revenues (HURs), not only to meet current road maintenance needs, but more importantly, provide a long-term, stable funding source for local transportation projects. It’s time to stop delaying projects that improve the condition of our roads. Our State’s investment in infrastructure, like roads and transportation, is the key to creating good job and promoting economic stability. Roads and transportation are worth the investment.
SHARE THIS ANSWER
3
Marijuana
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Worrell: No
SHARE THIS ANSWER
4
Chesapeake Bay
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?
Worrell: I live at the top of the Chesapeake Bay in Havre de Grace. Not only is it is our City’s water supply, it is an economic driver and treasure that must be protected. I have seen firsthand that the challenges we face with bay protection are often not of our own making. Our state neighbors’ lack of regulation to protect the Chesapeake Bay Watershed affects us downstream. One only has to stand by the Susquehanna River after a severe storm to see the debris that washes down from Pennsylvania, and New York. As a collaborator by nature, I would work to build relationships with my legislative counterparts in an effort to encourage them to strengthen their regulations by creating awareness for the damage they are causing. I would continue to support existing grants programs that would work in partnership with local businesses, museums and residents situated along the shores. I would support legislation that helped our waterman continue to earn their living on the Bay. It’s time to make the Bay sexy again; think celebrity endorsements. By adding funding to the Office of Tourism’s marketing budget, we could promote bay activities and stories, especially to the states mentioned above. People take care of what they love most. They key is to make our Bay the most loved attribute we have.
SHARE THIS ANSWER
5
Health Care
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Worrell: I support equity in reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare, as well as payment parity for telemedicine. Our citizens are being overburdened with co-pays, deductibles and premiums. The insurance pricing models are confusing for patients and providers alike. Did you know that because of reimbursement guidelines, patients may not receive diagnostic testing or certain procedures on the same day as an exam? The unintended consequence is that now healthcare providers bring patients back for additional testing and procedures on a different day than their exam. While originally designed to be a cost saving measures, this ill thought out decision creates inefficiencies for healthcare providers and cost patients more in co-pays, deductibles and lost wages - more steps, more cost and more time for everyone involved. Supporting initiatives that support wellness and promote public health are critical investments. However Maryland is the only state in the country with the “Medicare Waiver” in place. Under the revamped waiver, all of Maryland’s hospitals must operate under fixed global budgets. This means that they must care for all of their patients within the limits set by the Health Services Cost Review Commission. The goal is to provide incentives to keep people healthy and treat them in the most appropriate lowest cost setting. Unfortunately, we are seeing our rural hospitals close as a result. This means patients have to travel further for their healthcare needs. The business of medicine is complex and we need to see more practitioners involved in the decision making processes.
SHARE THIS ANSWER
6
Crime
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Worrell: I believe Governor Hogan got it right in December 2017, when he rolled out his plan to fight violent crime in Baltimore City. (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-hogan-crime-transcript-20171205-story.html) To combat gang/drug related violent crimes in Baltimore City, I readily support Governor Hogan’s initiatives. We need the toughest legislation possible to keep those involved in gang and drug related violent crimes off the streets. “It is critical for our state to have an intelligence-sharing infrastructure in place, which will allow law enforcement officials to develop timely, accurate and actionable intelligence, which will produce more arrests, more convictions and more incarcerations of these violent criminals for longer periods of time.” Excerpt from Governor Hogan Crime Plan transcript. I support the creation of the Governor’s council on Gangs and Violent Criminal Networks. Crime knows no boundaries, so shared resources and knowledge would benefit all jurisdictions - not just Baltimore City. It’s time to get tough on crime.
SHARE THIS ANSWER
7
Business Climate
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Worrell: I would characterize Maryland’s business climate as strong and moving in the right direction, with the exception of HB1 passed earlier this year. Small business constitutes a major force in our economy. Aside from contributions to our general economic well-being, founders of small businesses also contribute to growth and vitality in specific areas of economic and socioeconomic development. In particular, small businesses Create jobs, Spark innovation and Provide opportunities for many people, including women and minorities, to achieve. We need to review and remove excessive legislation and restrictions that hinders businesses’ ability to grow and expand. Small businesses are collectively the leader in job creation. As Maryland’s perception as an unfriendly business state begins to change for the first time in many years, we need to be prepared to help employers find qualified employees. We need to work with our local community colleges and work force development boards to prepare job seekers with the skills employers need. By addressing innovative workforce strategies, we can contribute to advancing and growing the competitiveness of our region and creating a better quality of life for businesses, workers, jobseekers.
SHARE THIS ANSWER
8
Redistricting
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Worrell: Yes
SHARE THIS ANSWER
9
LEOBR
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Worrell: Yes I do believe that LEOBR adequately balances the protection for police and the public. I do not believe it should be changed at this time.
SHARE THIS ANSWER
10
Opioids
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Worrell: Unfortunately, I believe the problem is continuing to rise and we have yet to reach a plateau regarding this problem. The Governor has declared a State of Emergency. I have heard the Opioid Crisis referred to as “a serial killer in our midst”. I agree wholeheartedly with these statements. We need to continue to focus our time, energy and resources combating this problem from many directions. I support creating opportunities for the medical/addiction recovery community and law enforcement community to meet and discuss the pros and cons of proposed solutions. I support introducing awareness of the topic at the elementary school level. Middle school is too late. I support increased penalties for convicted drug dealers. Last but not least, I believe we need to partner with the medical community to reduce the amount of medication prescribed for chronic pain or pain prevention.
SHARE THIS ANSWER
11
Income inequality
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Worrell: With the exception of the State monitoring its own hiring, and wages paid to State employees, there is little that I believe we should be doing legislatively to address income inequality. The exception to my statement above is that I would support legislation in barring employers from asking job candidates about their previous salary history or benefits. Women often have historically lower salaries than males for similar jobs, in part due to discrimination. By eliminating that specific question on an employee application, we could make a positive impact in addressing pay equity issues without overburdening the private sector.
SHARE THIS ANSWER
12
Transparency
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Worrell: Yes
SHARE THIS ANSWER

Election Coverage

    Help support our election coverage. Get 4 weeks of unlimited access for only 99¢. Subscribe