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?
Cluster: I agreed with their findings, however, I did not agree with the legislatures decision to remove the board of public works on school construction decisions.
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?
Cluster: The Baltimore area is adequately served by transit and I believe the Governor has found an balance between roads and transit.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Cluster: I support federal action to legalize marijuana. This is a federal issue. The federal government still considers this a schedule 1 drug and it is illegal.
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?
Cluster: We should always protect our number one natural resources but funding is not always the issue.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Cluster: The affordable health care act was one of the worst pieces of legislation ever created. It was created to destroy our health care system so that we would have to go to single payer. I am opposed to this and voted to help our state apply for more federal waivers to try to keep healthcare cost in check. Unfortunately the federal government needs to address this issue before insurance cost get even more out of hand and un-affordable.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Cluster: I was happy to vote for the crime package that passed in the general assembly and believe the state should do everything it can to help fight violent crime in Maryland. This includes locking up those repeat violent offenders and not allowing them to game the system and get out way earlier than they should.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Cluster: Maryland’s business climate is 100 times better now that Governor Hogan has taken control. Governor Hogan has worked to make Maryland as friendly of a business environment as he can with the current make up of the general assembly. I will continue to support Governor Hogan which will make this state even more business friendly.
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?
Cluster: YES! Baltimore City is just one jurisdiction and should not determine the LEOBR of the rest of the state. There are things we can do to work with the city of Baltimore, but to just change the LEOBR would be unwise.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Cluster: I think the legislature has been working hard over the last few years to get to the root cause of opioid addiction . The over proscribing of these drugs has lead to a huge increase in addiction. With the new laws on the book it will take time but I feel that less and less Marylanders will be prescribed these drugs leading to less people becoming addicted. It’s going to take time and treatment but I feel that the tide will be turning shortly.
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Cluster: Nothing. I believe in a free market economy.
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Cluster: Yes but there could be other options to make government even more accountable. I sponsored legislation this year to open our ethics committee to the public. This would allow the public even more access to see which legislators have been brought up on charges that stay hidden to the public.