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?
Boston: Yes, I support the finding of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education and I am committed to funding associated reforms through federal, state and local monies. The reforms outlined in the Commission Report is needed to make Maryland an international leader in high-quality 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?
Boston: From years of underfunding and/or neglect the needs of our infrastructure needs to be addressed immediately. Improvement to aging roads and bridges is paramount and our outdated mass transit is woefully inadequate for the needs of the citizens in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia that commute everyday into business regions throughout Maryland. The state must make a commitment to make transportation a priority. The Baltimore region is inadequately served by public transportation. The gaps that still exist with the cancellation of the Red Line and the attempt of the Baltimore Link to update an antiquated mass transit system has missed it mark for those who live in the outlying areas.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Boston: Legalized marijuana for recreational use is now a reality that must be addressed! I would support the legalization of recreational marijuana only if the revenue from the taxes can be specifically ‘locked’ for education or transportation.
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?
Boston: The first step I would take to protect the Chesapeake Bay is to find more funding for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation which works at the local, state, and federal level to restore the waters through education, advocacy, litigation, and restoration programs.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Boston: The most significant health challenge facing Maryland is the concern of the working middle- class and those just below the poverty line that cannot afford the premiums nor have the access to health-care. To ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care I would consult and/or confer with both providers and consumers to exam situations and solutions for varying types of issues.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Boston: Maryland needs Baltimore to be strong, but what policy makers are currently doing in Baltimore isn’t working. For generations, we have continued to ignore the fundamental problem, those born in Baltimore seem to have fewer opportunities than those born elsewhere. Baltimore spends more than $17,000 annually per student on education and yet outcomes do not equal that level of investment. We need to help our kids by reforming our education system and expanding trade and technical skill training beginning when children are young. Improving the quality of life of the city’s residents will aid in the reduction of violent crimes.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Boston: Maryland’s business climate is of skilled labor especially in cyber-security. With that being said, small businesses are important to any economy because they employ many more local people than do large-scale corporations, and the money small businesses make stays local as well, small businesses provide family-supporting jobs.
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Boston: Maryland’s system of redistricting needs to be reformed. We need to implement a non-partisan panel to draw our state and federal districts. Maryland has some of the most gerrymandered districts in the nation. The current process deprives Marylanders of real choices and a fair political debate.
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Boston: The Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights is for the protection of police officers only, it does not make provisions for the protection of the public.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Boston: The opioid epidemic does not discriminate, impacting communities and families across the nation. There are several strategies that I would implement that can assist in the reduction of opioid addiction and overdose, they include utilization of management (limiting the supply to only 7 days), monitoring pharmacists before and after dispensing prescriptions and education.
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Boston: We must invest in education and training for middle-class families so we can raise our standard of living.
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Boston: The public’s right to information about government activities lies at the heart of a democratic government however, the Public Information Act (PIA) does not ensure oversight to the government due to the limitations of protecting legitimate governmental interests and the privacy rights of individual citizens.