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?
Nathan-Pulliam: I support the findings for the Kerwan Commission and especially want to work to ensure that the appropriate resources are allocated for early childhood education, quality teachers, and equalizing funding for at risk students many of whom are in areas of concentrated poverty. Yes, I am committed to the funding reforms and would work with the Governor and legislative leaders to increase funding. I supported SB 1122 which amends the Maryland Constitution to ensure that casino revenue would be dedicated to education and cannot be diverted to other spending. This adds up to approximately $500 million to Maryland Schools over four years. I also supported the bill to expand Senatorial and Delegate scholarships to include certificate programs.
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?
Nathan-Pulliam: No, the current resource spending for roads and transit are not balanced. The state needs to allocate more funding to bring the old infrastructure up to par. Currently the transit system is very disjointed for commuters. The Baltimore Link is not able to connect the volume of commuters that would have had more access and job opportunities with the redline.
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Nathan-Pulliam: No I do not support this.
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?
Nathan-Pulliam: The State should work hand in hand with industry and the states that share the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia and Delaware to develop strategies that will protect the Chesapeake and provide the necessary oversight to ensure safety and restoration.
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Nathan-Pulliam: A bill was introduced that allowed Maryland to apply for a 1332 waiver from federal government to be able to implement a reinsurance program to stabilize the individual insurance market, if granted Maryland could leverage federal funds with state funds to provide relief to individuals. Additionally, there was a bill that requires a 2.75% assessment on insurance companies for 1 year, this is estimated to raise $380 million dollars for a state reinsurance program that would help to stabilize the insurance market. These bills would help during the interim while the Commission on Health Insurance works to develop a permanent solution.
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Nathan-Pulliam: I have supported legislation that focuses on reinvestment in quality schools, job opportunities with the understanding that the outgrowth from these programs would help to stabilize communities and reduce violent crimes. A critical component is also to create policy that would address gun violence through stronger gun protection laws. I would also support legislation that provides oversight and safeguards against corruption that has led to distrust in communities. By providing additional training for officers and incentives for them to live in the communities they police this could have a positive impact as well.
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Nathan-Pulliam: I think the business climate is fairly stable in Maryland. In order to create more family supporting jobs the state needs to reduce taxes, provide incentives for businesses, encourage start-ups, and provide competitive wages and benefits.
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Nathan-Pulliam: Yes I will support this body, but I think it would be difficult to find people that do not favor one part over the over.
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Nathan-Pulliam: I am concerned due to the recent exposure of officers in large corruption trial in Baltimore. Police officers risk their lives to protect the public and should have adequate protections, however there is no balance and protection of the public when officers think they are above the law. This bill of rights should be reviewed to ensure it fully addresses theses concerns.
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Nathan-Pulliam: The provision of education and awareness to the public of what opioids actually are and funding for education to obtain and use naloxone.
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Nathan-Pulliam: The State should equalize the payment for women for the job that they are performing , instead of paying them $.84 cent on the dollar.
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Nathan-Pulliam: Yes, I believe both of these laws allows for transparency.