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?
Bromwell: Absolutely. I supported HB 1783 in 2018. When I arrived to the legisalture, we had an unfunded mandate called the Thornton Commission. I supported that and we have been able to fund that forumula ever since. I would insist we do the same for the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education. In 2018, I also helped streamline the school construction and renovation process by passing HB 221.
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?
Bromwell: I do not feel there is a correct balance. I disagree with the Administrations push to simply widen highways (like 295). Widening roads does not reduce traffic. We still have many unsafe situations in my district where employees are often crossing one or two major highways on foot. Furthermore, the intersection of I-95 and I-695 needs to be completed as it was proposed. Portions of that project that were abandoned have led to very unsafe exits during peak hours. Vehicles stopped in the right hand lane on a major highway like I-695 is extremely dangerous and must be addressed as it was originally proposed.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Bromwell: I think we need to see how our medical marijuana program performs before thinking of expanding to recreational use. I would like to see medical marijuana used as an alternative pain remedy to opioids. I also think voters should have a say in the legalization of recreational marijuana through referendum. I did support decriminalizing moderate amounts of marijuana. I also feel that it is far less dangerous that alcohol. No one has ever died of an overdose on marijuana, and the federal government needs to recognize that there are far more potential benefits to the plant than there are negatives.
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?
Bromwell: I have received the endorsement of the Maryoand League of Conservation Voters. I have supported the expansion of the use of clean, renewable energy. We are at a critical time in our State and our Country, when we have a head of the EPA who doesn’t believe that we need an EPA (according to his past statements). The Bay is our most precious resource and we should do everything in our power to protect it.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Bromwell: As Vice Chairman of the Health and Government Operations Committee, I could write several pages on the legislation that we have passed over the last 16 years. I have sponsored legislation to allow Maryland to sue for price gouging of pharmaceuticals (Maryland is the first state in the country to do so). In 2018, we worked with Governor Hogan to pass legsialtion with the hopes of driving down premiums. But, much of the situation in which we find ourselves is a direct result of President Trump deciding to relax the individual mandate. In doing so, more young people are opting not to get insurance, leaving the insurance pool full of less healthy indivuduals. I equate this to only making people who get into accidents pay for car insurance. If we did not all pay car insurance, premiums would be unaffordable.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Bromwell: We should provide Baltimore City with every resource they need. As a representative of Baltimore County whose district ends at the city line, I do not consider this to be a problem that ends at the city line, especially as crime has increased in the neighborhoods I represent that border the City.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Bromwell: I think we have a por busines climate. I feel the legislature needs more people with a business background. The problem may be that if you are a business owner or general manager of a business, it is often difficult to be away from your business for 90 days. I testified to this fact before the commission that determines the pay for our legislature. I did NOT ask for a raise for legislators, just that the committee consider options for making the legislature more attractive to small business owners.
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Bromwell: I would need to take a closer look. Legislation dealing with this issue has been introduced in 2018, but has not advanced. The police that represent my constituents do an incredible job, but I realize that every jurisdiction is different.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Bromwell: As Chairman of the Opioid Workgroup in the House of Delegates, we have attacked this crisis in many ways. We first began by making this a non-partisan issue. We insisted that the workgroups in the House and Senate work with the Hogan Administration to maximize our efforts. We have passed the HOPE Act to expand access to treatment. We passed the Start Talking Now Act which helps educate our children about the dangers of opioids. We have implemented a Prescrition Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to help identify doctor shoppers as well as overprescribers. We have expanded the use of naloxone (narcan), a life-saving overdose reversal drug. In 2018, we will see 211 act as our crisis hotline as well as a number to call to report “pill mills.” In addition, we have passed legislation to help each individual jurisdiction address their respective behavioral health and opioid crisis needs, having realized that different jurisdictions may have different needs.
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Bromwell: Until everyone earnes the same wages for an honest days work, we must do EVERYTHING possible to achieve true income equality. Anything less is unacceptable.
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?