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?
Kerr: I support the commission’s findings and recommendations. I support maintaining historical funding levels while enhancing with dedicated casino revenues
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?
Kerr: I support maintaining existing roads and enhancing public transportation over increasing capacity with new lanes. Baltimore’s transit if far more robust than is Frederick County’s. I favor expanding MARC service between Frederick City and Washington DC.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Kerr: I support expanding decriminalization for possession, and would support recreational use if it is passed through referendum.
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?
Kerr: I would encourage the use of permeable surfaces through tax incentive and rebate to reduce run off. Agriculturally, I support the same incentives for stream and river buffers that are taken out of agriculture and planted with run-off limiting vegetation that is also able to absorb run-off before it enters Bay tributaries.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Kerr: I would support exploring a Mass-Care type option for Marylander’s who cannot access healthcare through employment or existing exchanges.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Kerr: With state assistance comes state oversight and a loss of autonomous administration of a local agency. The role the state should play is determined by the results promised by the City and the degree of control the City is willing to give over to the state.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Kerr: I am a proponent of expanded use of apprenticeships, not just for traditional trades, but for occupations that required a college degree where the apprentice is hired prior to college and apprenticed through his or her education while gaining workplace experience. This is followed by a commitment to stay with the employer for an agreed-upon period of time following the completion of the apprenticeship.
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Kerr: I support a national approach to redistricting rather an a state-by-state approach. A non-partisan, independent body using an algorithm and respecting traditional cultural and geographic boundaries is my preference.
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Kerr: In light of recent local and national events regarding officer-shootings, the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights appears to protect the officers to a greater extent than it does private citizens. A fresh look at the bill is appropriate in view of events that have unfolded since its inception.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Kerr: The opiod crisis requires, at a minimum, on-demand treatment in an inpatient facility. Additionally, medical cannabis shows promise in treating chronic pain without the addictive properties and withdrawal potential. Additionally, opiods, over time, are less effective in treating pain requiring larger and more dangerous doses. Mandatory treatment after the administering of Narcan with follow-up in patient treatment available are the first steps we should take in addressing this crisis.
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Kerr: Income derived from investments, where that is the taxpayers main source of income, should be taxed at the prevailing rate rather than to capital gains rate.
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Kerr: As a member of the Frederick County Board of Education, I see the volume of PIA requests we receive and how responsive our staff is in addressing citizen inquiries. So, in my experience, this system of oversight is effective.