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?
Norman: I will not commit to supporting or opposing the Kirwan Comission until I am able to review the complete report. That said, I will be focused on holding our school systems accountable to results instead of using Money Spent as the primary metric for judging our commitment to public education.
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?
Norman: I would consider additional spending on mass transit options for the Baltimore Region if studies show that there would be significant utilization, and if the communities impacted are supportive. Any spending would have to be offset by reductions in spending elsewhere or projected usage fees.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Norman: I generally do not think that individual marijuana use has enough of a negative public impact to warrant criminalization. If I were to support legalization then there would need to be significant public safeguards in place that include protecting children from second hand smoke, limitations on use while operating automobiles, and revenue-neutral taxation.
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?
Norman: Regardless of the federal government’s commitment, Maryland and Marylanders should always be focused on protecting our Chesapeake Bay. In addition to runoff controls already being placed on farmers and homeowners, we should focus on the performance of municipal waste water treatment facilities, dredging behind the Conowingo Dam, and the impact of upstream, out of state polluters.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Norman: Maryland should partner with the Federal Government to expand Medicaid access to the poor and vulnerable in a revenue neutral way.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Norman: The General Assembly continually debates two opposing crime fighting philosophies: Rehabilitation vs. Punishment. I think they are asking the wrong questions. Instead of pondering “how should we treat our criminals?”, our legislators should be asking “what can we do to keep the public safe?”. The answer is likely a combination of 1) keeping repeat violent offenders behind bars for a long time, and 2) policies that encourage a successful reentry into society for ex-cons who are committed to being productive citizens.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Norman: Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the best source of local, middle class jobs. I will promote small business growth through tax reform, eliminating burdensome occupational licensing requirements, and reducing regulations that do not serve the public’s best interests.
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Norman: Maryland Democrat’s gerrymandering scheme is are a national disgrace, and I am absolutely supportive of non-partisan redistricting for our legislative and congressional maps.
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Norman: I am not familiar enough with the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights to offer an informed opinion on this topic.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Norman: Expanded treatment for addicts, public education for our children, and strict punishment for dealers and suppliers.
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Norman: 1) Increase opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses to create middle class jobs by reducing taxes and unnecessary regulations, 2) Establishing and subsidizing job training programs in blue collar trades, 3) Improving our public education system so that young adults graduate from high school career ready
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Norman: I am not familiar enough with Maryland’s Public Information Act or open meeting laws to offer an informed opinion on this topic.