2018 Primary election results

Ben Kramer

Ben Kramer
  • Democrat
  • Age: 61
  • Residence: Derwood

About Ben Kramer

Education

BA Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement

Background

small business owner/operator

Questionnaire

1
Kirwan
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?
Kramer: I do support the findings of the Commission. Reforms can be funded through revenue from gaming, if it is not redirected elsewhere. I voted for legislation to ensure gaming revenue is used for education.
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2
Transportation
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?
Kramer: Transit needs should be prioritized. The Red Line will be a catalyst to economic development in Baltimore, provide needed transportation for low income residents and reduce carbon emissions in the city.
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3
Marijuana
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Kramer: Until the issues of impaired driving are thoroughly addressed, I will be reluctant to support the legalization of recreational marijuana.
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4
Chesapeake Bay
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?
Kramer: Maryland should commit to join with neighboring states to pass legislation to collect the cost of carbon emissions at the source of the pollution. Maryland should also pressure Pennsylvania to stop its disproportionate pollution of the Susquehanna River, which flows directly into the Bay.
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5
Health Care
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Kramer: Pass single payer health insurance legislation. I supported legislation in the 2018 Session of the Maryland General Assembly to tax the insurance industry to provide revenue for Maryland’s health exchange.
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6
Crime
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Kramer: The state legislature passed legislation in the 2018 Session to help address violent crime in Baltimore. Economic development and associated job creation are basic to helping reduce the reliance on criminal activity and drug trafficking for financial gain.
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7
Business Climate
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Kramer: Tax policies and a well educated resident population are tools for attracting much needed, high paying, business interests.
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8
Redistricting
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Kramer: Yes.
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9
LEOBR
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Kramer: The definition of “balance” in ensuring adequate protections between the public and police is a moving target. Our laws should provided flexibility to allow for needed adjustments as public sentiment and real world needs demand.
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10
Opioids
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Kramer: The opioid crisis is national, and it is a challenge for any state to address it individually. The Maryland legislature passed a number of initiatives including funding for rehabilitation, education and laws placing greater emphasis on law enforcement.
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11
Income inequality
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Kramer: Equality in education, tax policy, and job opportunity are all areas where the state can affect income inequality outcomes.
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12
Transparency
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Kramer: Generally speaking, Maryland does a good job of ensuring open and transparent government decision making. I have been an advocate of creating an Office of Inspector General in quasi-state government agencies (WSSC, M-NCPPC), where greater accountability and transparency have been needed.
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