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?
Christensen: Yes I would support legislation and policy that improves innovative education and evaluates funding for state public schools in conjunction with the reviews the commission presents . I would support policy that helps prepare our students for the workforce. This commission will help identify economically disadvantaged students and how to address the declining student. I would support policy based on their findings.
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?
Christensen: I support Governor Hogans plan to relieve traffic congestion. These projects will improve our state highway system . I support the administration state highways plans and infrastructure which will help support our private sector. I support express toll lanes on the Baltimore Washington parkway. All of this will allow for a much safer and quicker commute to and from work.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Christensen: No I do not support another gate way drug being legalized especially with the addiction epidemic were are facing . I think we will see how medical marijuana affects our community’s first. The marijuana is 30% stronger then it was years ago. A person just needs a certificate from a doctor to purchase marijuana, not to exceed 4 ounces a month and at a cost of over three hundred plus dollars an ounce. All cash only business. A person with no medical background will assist in picking out which type of marijuana a patient needs. Medical marijuana will lead to less motivation, driving while impaired and more homeless. Colorado is having it’s share of issues since it became legalized.
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?
Christensen: We need to continue to remain to be committed to build on the progress made in restoring the bay and local waters. The EPA will have documents that are key points that will help support ways to control pollution needed to keep the bay clean. Upgrades of water treatment plants throughout the bay watershed have helped reduce pollution . I would support policy that will reduce pollution based on the results of the EPA and its findings.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Christensen: We need to address torte reform, have better health insurance options with lower premiums. Much more streamline plans that address the consumers needs. We still need to address the VA to insure our veterans have optimal quality care with less waiting. Reject efforts to bring back the mandate. Reform medicaid and find waste. Expand access to healthcare through the private sector. Make sure our people working in the medical fields are able to have quality time to care for their patience rather then quantity over quality.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Christensen: We need more correctional facilities so we can have room for repeated violent offenders. Our criminal justice system has moved away from protecting the innocent and I want to see that changed. We need to have more support for our police officers and let them know we are behind them. Drugs and gangs need to be addressed with more manpower to help reduce the violence it brings to our communities. Outreach with the communities that bring police and the people together like PAL programs. The culture of our communities needs to be addressed as well.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Christensen: Maryland’s business climate has too many regulations example the brewery’s have had to form a task force to fight the regulations on their business’s. The taxes and expenses to start a business need to be reduced . We have not been a business friendly environment. We can do better. Governor Hogan has made changes in the right direction. We need to keep moving in these directions to keep us competitive and have incentives to promote small business so they can thrive. We need to support policy that helps small business hire more people not regulate them so much that it’s a constant struggle.
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Christensen: it could not be more clear that our state was fixed blue through an unnatural division of the population to support a partisan voice and render those unrepresented in the legislature. Our votes have been compromised by gerrymandering. I will support a more fair redistricting non partisan approach .
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Christensen: I do not support our police officers being suspended without evidence and having their careers ruined after an investigation turns up no evidence. I support The Bill of rights because it provides law enforcement with privileges based on due process. I do not support a board making decisions for our law enforcement unless those who reside on that board have worked in law enforcement and are experience in the field. We need to continue to support law enforcement while understanding the citizen as well. We can not live in a lawless society and its becoming more difficult to keep good well trained officers with the currant state of affairs we have been experiencing in our country.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Christensen: I would support more scholarship based programs that allow the addict to work to help with his expense’s during treatment. I strongly believe in walk in detox with mental health facilities safe stations at our fire house’s . Continue to help law enforcement with their needs to get the drugs off the streets and tougher sentencing for drug dealers. The person has to want treatment. I support our prison systems having drug rehabilitation that will help them remain clean like Hartford county. Acquiring empty buildings to be renovated into treatment centers to allow more opportunity for those that need help. We do not have enough beds or programs to keep up with the demand. I would support an easier pathway to allow families to get custody of orphaned children to keep them from foster care or while the parent is not able .
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Christensen: This begins with education. We can not keep passing students who have not mastered the basics. We are setting our children up for failure which does not help with income inequality. This keeps those from being able to obtain higher wage jobs. I would support more trade schools. Bring back the trades in high schools. More technical high schools if needed. Help support business friendly policies so employers can afford to higher more people which creates jobs. Support programs that will help single parents attend schools or trades. Help people get off welfare and working.
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Christensen: I feel all government activities need to be disclosed to the public. I believe we need more transparency and oversight to eliminate waste and abuse. Monies need to go where they are to go and not be in a slush fund at the expense of the tax payer. It seems to me that we are not doing enough to provide and ensure our citizens with where monies are going example education in Baltimore city. The use of our tax dollars going towards battles outside of our state that could be better spent in our state . The casino monies we were told it was going towards education yet it did not . Therefore I feel we must need more government oversight and policy’s to be more specific.