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?
Rose: As a member of the Ways and Means Committee I have had several briefings on the Commission. I was disappointed that nothing was accomplished on the funding formula. This is particularly frustrating for my county as we are dealing with declining enrollment. I appreciate the work that has been done and I firmly believe in getting much more flexibility and innovation in our school system. We need to focus on true workforce skills so that our students will be equipped for success in college or in the workforce. I believe we must put great emphasis on incorporating computer science and programming in K-12. I believe we should track the success of P-Tech and expand that program throughout the state so that every jurisdiction has those opportunities for our students. I also support expanding our career and tech schools and programs. We need to expand access to education in the trades and providing pipelines of apprenticeships and internships in those fields.
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?
Rose: I think that historically there has not been an appropriate balance between roads and transit. For far too long the emphasis has been on transit at the expense of areas like Carroll County. We have needed expansion for Route 32 for more than 10 years. I appreciate Governor Hogan’s approach of moving forward with every jurisdiction and their transportation priorities. That is a fair and balanced approach. I believe that Baltimore will have success with BaltimoreLink. From the briefings I have received on this initiative it will be focused on customer service and is making the commitment to ensure these routes make sense and are timely. The Red Line cost was skyrocketing into the billions. I appreciate Governor Hogan looking for a more reasonable way to address those issues while keeping the entire state in his mind rather than all of the transportation funding going to just a few jurisdictions.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Rose: I do not support legalization of recreational marijuana. At this point in time there is no technology available for law enforcement to determine if drivers are impaired by use of the drug. I feel that we need to be very focused on keeping our roads safe and I have great concerns over increased use of this drug and the resulting increase in dangerous conditions on our roads.
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?
Rose: I believe that we have already been doing is sufficient. The Bay has improved with the work that has been ongoing. One of the major issues is runoff that comes into our waterways from the Susquehanna and neighboring states. The other issue is Baltimore City and the lack of sufficient infrastructure improvements that would prevent the constant issue of polluted water being leaked into the waterways.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Rose: I believe that the Affordable Care Act has been a dismal failure. It has resulted in skyrocketing costs with no end in sight. I believe the mandate and penalty should be eliminated for good. I believe we need to open up the insurance market nationwide and empower people to purchase the coverage they feel would be best for their families. Free market solutions and options should drive down the costs. We should also allow trade organizations to be treated as a qualified “group”. This would allow groups such as realtors, NFIB, etc. to get better rates for their members. This must be dealt with as soon as possible because insurance is becoming completely unaffordable.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Rose: I believe the two crime bills we just passed this session will provide excellent tools to assist Baltimore City in reducing crime. Baltimore City must step up and do everything in its power to address crime. We need mandatory minimum sentences for the most violent offenders. We need judges who impose proper sentences on repeat offenders to keep them off the streets and unable to terrorize neighborhoods. Baltimore is a great city but it has become a national disgrace.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Rose: I think the business climate has improved somewhat during Governor Hogan’s first term. However we continue to push job killing initiatives such as the one size fits all mandatory sick leave law. I hear from small businesses almost every day who are really struggling with the lack of flexibility and cost of implementing this law. Maryland lawmakers need to stop micro-managing private business. We need to reduce corporate tax rates so that businesses will have more capital to grow and hire people. The more we do to foster a positive business environment, businesses will feel confident to invest and grow their firms. As they increase their profits everyone will benefit with job creation and wages. Helping businesses will result in more individuals working, paying taxes and spending money in our state. When businesses win, everyone wins.
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Rose: I support this 100%. It is long overdue and will be the only fair way of drawing districts moving forward. We need to get politics out of this process. It should be bipartisan and transparent.
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Rose: I support the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights as it stands in law.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Rose: I believe that under Governor Hogan’s leadership every jurisdiction has been given additional resources to help combat this terrible problem. I know that more treatment beds are desperately needed and that would be my main focus to help get treatment for more people who truly want to overcome this addiction. We need to continue to work with the medical community to crack down on the prescription of these powerful drugs so that people do not become addicted to the point of resorting to heroin use. Additional money for treatment and treatment facilities is something that should be a priority for those already addicted. Education of the dangers of these drugs should be a focus starting in elementary school. Streamlining the access to treatment services should be a focus in every jurisdiction so that families struggling with this issue knows what is available to help them combat this problem.
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Rose: A rising tide lifts all boats. We need to create a positive and supportive business climate in the state. As we give businesses tools to be successful and to grow it will result in more jobs and more opportunities for everyone. If our businesses succeed and create wealth that will result in increased wages for every employee and new job creation for those not already employed. We need to stop passing inflexible laws that are hurting job creation.
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Rose: I believe in transparency at all levels of government. I support our current laws and will continue to support initiatives that provide additional transparency. The citizens should have full access to government operations at all times. We work for the citizens.