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The Issues

To better understand the issues that residents of District 33 care most about, I’ve traveled around the district asking people to share their concerns with me. These are the issues that you have shared with me in our conversations. If I have not addressed an issue that is important to you, please reach out to me and I will add it to this page along with a statement about where I stand on the issue.


Health and Welfare

Healthcare

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, we have seen abundant evidence of the beneficial effects of expanding quality affordable healthcare to people who were previously unable to obtain coverage through their employers. Not only are more people healthier, but so is our economy -- through job creation and a healthier workforce. But without an adequate replacement for the Affordable Care Act, Maryland will lose billions in federal funding, see a huge increase in the number uninsured people and more debt for hospitals, all of which means higher premiums for everyone.

Affordable prescription drugs go hand-in-hand with affordable healthcare. I support the General Assembly’s efforts to keep prescription drug prices reasonable. I will work hard and reach across party lines to make sure insurance and drug coverage remain affordable to everyone regardless of income, age, or pre-existing conditions.

Opioid Epidemic

There is no denying that Maryland is facing an uphill battle when it comes to combatting the opioid epidemic. Opioid overdoses and fatalities increased 145% from 2015 to 2016. Anne Arundel County, like the rest of Maryland, has a shortage of treatment facilities. Pharmacological therapies, such as methadone and Suboxone, are scientifically proven to be effective, yet treatment centers are facing a shortage of these lifesaving treatments. Prevention needs to be part of every middle- and high-school curriculum. Increased criminal penalties for drug traffickers, and limiting the number of opioids physicians can prescribe, will also help in this fight. I am encouraged by the steps that Governor Hogan and Anne Arundel County are taking to combat this problem, and I will work hard to keep this momentum going.


Our Aging Population

According to the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging, the county’s population of older adults is expected to double over the next 15 years. Financial security, quality, affordable healthcare, nursing home costs, transportation, and end of life care are among the top issues for seniors.  

As the program manager of the Adult Guardianship Assistance Project I get a firsthand look at how these issues play out not only for the aging, but also for their caregivers. Unfortunately I am not seeing the golden years so golden.  I greatly respect the contribution Maryland seniors have made to this great state and we owe it to them to make their retirement years the best possible.   If elected I will work to ensure that we are prepared to provide programs and services to ensure the best quality of life with the most independence possible for our seniors.


Education

School Funding

The economic impact of quality education is undisputable. Good schools increase home values, encourage new business, and create a skilled workforce -- all of which ensure a strong economy. Maryland is a nationally recognized leader in public education. From 2009 to 2013, Maryland schools ranked first in the nation according to Education Week’s National Education rankings. But in 2016, we fell to fifth place. Current funding levels fall short on for new programs, new teachers, and teacher pay increases. Our schools are struggling with oversized classrooms and underpaid teachers, both of which are contributing to an exodus of good teachers leaving for better working conditions in other counties. Therefore, it is imperative that we adequately fund our public schools, specifically Anne Arundel County where funding has not kept up with neighboring counties.

Charter Schools

Charter schools -- publicly funded schools run by private organizations -- have begun to appear all over Maryland in the recent years. While many students have benefited from attending a charter school, increasing reports of charter school mismanagement and poor performance cannot be ignored. There is also mounting evidence that charter schools do not increase student achievement, help students get better jobs, or earn higher incomes. Charter schools are exempt from many of regulations that govern traditional public schools which has unfortunately resulted in misadministration. In 2016 the Inspector General of the US Department of Education studied 33 charter schools across six states and found numerous instances of fraud, waste, and abuse within charter-school management organizations.

It is fiscally irresponsible to divert our public school tax dollars to schools with less accountability and lower standards. Therefore, I am opposed to Maryland increasing the number of charter schools without addressing current deficiencies in our existing charter school regulations. I am in agreement with the Maryland State Education Association position on charter school as well as school vouchers.

Environment

Marylanders are lucky to live in a beautiful region with abundant natural resources. We all want to do our part to protect those resources -- whether by shopping with reusable grocery bags or by supporting an environmental advocacy group.

Last year, the General Assembly enacted the Clean Energy Jobs Act and the reauthorized the Green House Emissions Act. These laws are a win-win. Not only will these laws improve the environment, but they will also create thousands of jobs in Maryland. However, our current representatives voted against environmentally friendly laws. Furthermore, threats from the current administration to take away federal funding to clean up the Chesapeake Bay is deeply troubling.

Strong voices are needed in the General Assembly to take on these challenges, and I want add mine to them. I will advocate for legislation that promotes awareness, appreciation and conservation of Maryland’s natural resources and support the priorities of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

Economy

A strong middle class is what drives the economy and although Maryland is one of the most affluent states in the Country, we are experiencing a widening gap between the rich and the poor. To protect Maryland’s middle class we must attract the types of businesses in the sectors that are creating the most jobs such as healthcare, biotechnology, and clean energy. These jobs need to offer livable wages, workplace equality, paid sick and family leave and other worker protections. At the same time, we need to continue investing in our schools so that our students are prepared for the workforce, make college tuition more reasonable, invest in better transportation and ensure healthcare and childcare are accessible and affordable. I will work hard to advance these efforts. 

 





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