Candidates for the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates were asked:
1. Would you support legislation to make the income tax the major source of revenue for the state and county governments?
2. Do you think that state regulatory commissions have enough power and are adequately controlling the actions of power and water utilities in the state?
3. Under what circumstances, if any, do you think the state should provide funding for abortions for welfare recipients? 14th District Senate (Vote for 1) Monroe Burk, 60, of 5449 New Grange Garth, Columbia, is a professor of economics at the University of Baltimore.
1. Yes. This is the major plank of my legislative program.
2. There is widespread belief that utilities are poorly regulated. The proof of this cannot be found either in the increases in rates or in rates in Maryland compared to other areas. The evidence must be found in malfeasance, misfeasance, statutory error, conspiracy or fraud on the part of utilities or their employes. It is widely alleged that perks, salaries, etc., of executives of utilities may be excessive. I am prepared to examine the evidence in full. Whether the source of regulatory weakness is statutory insufficiency is certainly worth studying, but I cannot say this of my own knowledge.
3. The state should fund medical expenses of welfare recipients, including abortion expenses, and I can think of no limiting circustances. James Clark Jr., 59, of Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, is a farmer and has been a state senator since 1963. He also has been a member of the House of Delegates.
1. No. Maryland taxes are among the highest in the nation and I feel they need to be reduced, not raised.
2. I feel they have enough power at this time and believe they are doing a fair job in controlling the actions of the utilities in Maryland.
3.I supported the present arrangement which makes abortions available to the poor under Medicaid. House (14A) (Vote for 1) Joel Chasnoff, 42, of 13712 Batchelorn Dr., Colesville, is an attorney. He has been a member of the House of Delegates since 1974.
1. Yes. Property taxes should be minimized to bring greater tax stabilization and assist those on fixed incomes.
2. In the last session, the legislature gave additional power to the Public Service Commission to restrict utilities ability to unilaterally institute increases. Additional power should be granted to protect against unjustified and unwarranted increases.
3. For the health of the mother and in those cases involving rape, incest and potential serious handicap. Charles V. Kirchman, 43, of 14801 Notley Rd., Silver Spring, is an attorney.
1. No, switching the budget to a state income tax is no solution to the problem of excessive governmental spending.
2. I think the state regulatory agencies have enough power, but I do not feel that they are doing an adequate job of regulation.
3. In all cases. 15th District (15B) House (Vote for 2) William P. Anderson, 46, of 9120 Edgewood Dr., Gaithersburg, is a small businessman. He was a candidate in the 1974 Democratic primary for County Council.
1. If an income tax is property graduated to make it progressive, fair to Montgomery County taxpayers and there was an accompanying property tax reduction I would support.
2. With rate structures regulatory agencies may have enough power, but due to the complicated bookkeeping systems utilities use, they are not in a position to use. The bill passed last year by the Maryland General Assembly indicates that citizens are requiring more knowledge of the rate setting procedure and rightly so.
3. I support current state legislation guidelines for Medicaid funding of abortions. Jay S. Bernstein, 36, of 9104 Shad La., Potomac, is an attorney. He was appointed to the House of Delegates in June 1978.
1. Property tax rates and assessments must be stabilized. Montgomery County must receive its fair share of the tax dollar it sends to the state treasury. We need well-planned economic development and the expanded tax base which follows before any drastic changes at this time.
2. I do not know and would prefer to await the result of the committee studying the revision of the Public Service Commission's powers.
3. Under all circumstances, that the welfare recipient is eligible for Medicaid. Abortion should be considered an ordinary medical procedure under the Medicaid program. James M. Metcalf, 46, of 10420 Oaklyn Drive, Potomac, is an investment broker. He is a member of the Economic Development Advisory Board.
1. My constituents already pay the highest taxes in the state and would appreciate fiscal responsibility and lower taxes, and a progressive income tax would increase their taxes substantially.
2. Yes. Unfortunately, the state can do nothing about price which OPEC sets for oil. The state could encourage expansion of state coal mining.
3. Abortion is available by freedom of choice to all who can afford it. There should be no discrimination against those who are unable to afford it. Anthony Patrick Puca, 30, of 8190 Buckspark Lane East, Potomac, is president of National Business Services, Inc. He is a member of the County Chamber of Commerce.
1. Yes. The property tax is actually a regressive tax that charges many property owners at inequitable amounts.
2. No. The enforcement powers of our state regulatory agencies are not well defined enough. Also the fines and penalties that they can currently hand out aren't severe enough.
3. I'm against state funding for abortion except in instances where the health of the mother is in danger or where there was rape, incest, etc. involved. Judith C. Toth, 40, of 6611 80th Place, Cabin John, is a member of the House of Delegates. She has been active in civic organizations and environmental groups.
1. Only if itis truly progressive, takes into consideration the effects of inflation on taxpayer's bracket; and allows generous individual exemption (e.g. $1,500) with built in escalator which closely follows cost-of-living.
2. PSC needs more staff and funding to more adequately assess applications. Need to strengthen office of the People's Counsel and make hearing procedures more accessible to general public.
3. Because of deep moral, ethical and social divisions, government should neither promote nor prohibit abortion. Medicaid funding should only be available when life of mother is threatened, when severe genetic disorder is identified, or in cases of rape or incest. 16th District Senate (Vote for 1) Joseph D. Gebhardt, 32, of 5802 Namakagan Rd., Bethesda, is a public interest lawyer and a federal commissioner, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.
1. I support a slightly more progressive income tax, with a commensurate reduction in property taxes.
2. The state should have a consumer advocate to intervene in proceedings before the Insurance and Banking Commissions. The Public Service Commission should have more authority to protect residential consumers of utility service.
3. I will vote for Medicaid financing for abortion without restrictions. Ann T. Ozer, 42, of 7207 Glenbrook Rd., Bethesda, is an educational and child development consultant. She is vice president of the New Century Democrats.
1. Would support a graduated state income tax, as one means of distributing the tax burden and controlling the rise of property taxes, which threatens the survival of the fixed income resident in Montgomery County. Also, utilization of federal funds.
2. I don't believe the problem is insufficient power or authority; rather the ability to do the job better; improved management, labor policies, resulting in improved service.
3. Whatever services are legal and available to women with money must be available to women without money. The only way to ensure safe medical treatment is to have state Medicaid funds available for abortion, and I will vote yes for such funding, plus education for family planning. 17th District House (Vote for 3) Brian E. Barkley, 33, of 796 Princeton Place, Rockville, is an attorney.
1. No. I believe that state and local government should be funded from a number of sources of revenue in order to spread the burden equitably among all citizens.
3. In the event of a serious threat to the health or life of the mother, rape, incest or if there is a strong likelihood that the child would be handicapped. Jennie M. Forehand, 42, of 712 Smallwood Rd., Rockville, is a homemaker, a volunteer health planner and a community activist.
1. I doubt that it would distribute the burden any more equitably than the present system, but if it did, I would consider it.
2. Yes - they have enough power, but it needs to be implemented more carefully.
3. Especially where rape or mental/physical problems might occur.Would allow funding so the poor can have the same choice as those who can afford these services. Strong education program encouraged. Robert Anthony Jacques, 40, of 619 Azalea Dr., Rockville, is an attorney. He was elected to the House of Delegates in 1974.
1. No - there are many people in Montgomery County who are not legal residents of this state and avoid paying any state income tax. The real property tax and the sales tax are the only means of collecting revenue.
2. Based upon my own lawsuit against the WGL Co., I am totally dissatisfied with the actions of the Public Service Commission.
3. If there is a genuine physical or emotional problem involving the delivery of a baby, then I would most reluctantly, and have voted for such funding. James G. Kolb, 48, of 6906 Wick La., Derwood, is an attorney.
1. Yes. I also support concurrent reduction of property tax.
2. No. Maryland utility rates are much too high and the Public Service Commission should have the power to control rates and actions.
3. Only when the mother's life is endangered, or when pregnancy is due to rape or incest, provided property verified and reported. Paul McGuckian, 40, of 105 Wall St., Rockville, is an attorney. He has been a former assistant county attorney and is counsel to the Housing Opportunities Commission.
1. I support a gradual movement away from the real property tax as the major source of revenue for county governments. High inflation and increasing age of our population have made the real property tax increasingly unfair.
2.No. I do not believe the regulatory agencies have sufficient resources to fully safeguard the public.
3. Denying public funding or abortions for welfare recipients has the effect of causing those women to have later term abortions. The Supreme Court has ruled abortions through first trimester must be permitted. Maryland allows much later abortions. I would restrict public funding to the first trimester and thereafter prohibit abortions to all persons except upon certification that the mother's life is in danger or other equally strict circumstances. Joseph E. Owens, 60, of 13619 Grenoble Dr., Rockville, is a lawyer. He has been a member of the Maryland House since 1971 and is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
1. The income tax is already the major source of revenue for state government, but I feel that to increase the state income tax to make it the major source for the local government would be impractical.
2. Water utilities are mainly regulated by local governments. As to other utilities, the necessary power exists but is not always exercised aggressively.
3. Save the life of the mother. Charles R. Schmidt, 55, of 14624 Baver Dr., Rockville, is a television technician. He has spent three years lobbying for veterans' affairs.
3. To save life of mother. John W. Tower, 25, of 609 Blossom Dr., Rockville, is president and chief executive officer of the Tower Foundation for Historic Preservation. He has been active in civic and political groups.
1. The most important steps for the people of Montgomery County and Maryland, to ensure the economic health of our state and communities, is the introduction of a strong new state fiscal policy to cut and stabilize property taxes, a ceiling on government spending, to cut waste and mismanagement and establish real economic priorities for the state to enhance economic development. Only after this economic runaway government is brought under control should the legislature deal with the question of new taxation policies. I would favor a blend of taxation policies to relieve the burden that our current policies have placed on our citizens.
2. I think that there is basically too much regulation which has led to a complete breakdown of the effectiveness of our regulatory agencies and led to confusion when dealing with our business and utilities, which in turn has cost the taxpayers more dollars for less services. We need a complete overhaul of our regulations on business. They should meet defined priorities and be spelled out in plain English and most importantly be enforceable.
3. I do support the state funding of abortions for welfare recipients and basically agree with the current legislation in this area. 18th District Senate (Vote for 1) Charles A. Docter, 46, of 9810 Hillridge Dr., Kensington, is an attorney. He has been a member of the House of Delegates for 12 years.
1. Yes. This is the only way to get fairness in taxation.
2. Yes - except there is not adequate control of rates of the power utilities.
3. I voted for Medicaid funding of abortions. Margaret C. Schweinhaut, of 3601 Saul Rd., Kensington, has been a state senator for 13 years. She served seven years in the Maryland House.
2. Have sufficient power in statutes, but insufficient staff to implement; also there is need for strong commissioners interested in enforcement on behalf of public.
3. Mother's life in danger. House (Vote for 3) Stephen Hotsko, 62, of 1608 Myrtle Rd., Silver Spring, is retired from federal service. He is a member locally of the Kensington Fire Board.
1. Yes, provided the proper controls are instituted to assure that everyone pays a fair share of taxes. Current loopholes must be abolished.
2. No. Mandatory requirements in consideration of the rate-setting process should be written into the state law. This eliminates the use of "discretionary" judgments on the part of the MPS commissioners. Moreover, it makes certain that the determinations are proper and not derelict.
3. No position. Charles F. Kirkley, 58, of 9905 Old Spring Rd., Kensington, is senior minister of St. Paul's United Methodist Church. He has been involved with the Maryland Legislature in a broad range of areas.
1. Yes, since I support taxation based on the "ability to pay," which is the advantage of a progressive income tax. Consequently, I also support reforming the state income tax to make it more progressive and reduce our dependence on the property tax.
2. Because of my interest in consumer affairs, I would investigate the question as a delegate. I am also concerned about the inflationary impact of excessive regulation by government.
3. Under circumstances consisted with the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. Donald B. Robertson, 46, of 7303 Delawae St., Chevy Chase, is a lawyer. He has been a member of the Maryland House since 1970 and is chairman of the Montgomery County delegation.
1. Substantial current federal funding affects revenue balance. I support reducing property tax reliance and more equitable balance among state revenues by partial shift of tax burden to income and other taxes more closely related to ability to pay.
2. Power Utilities: Cosponsored 1976 law giving PSC expanded (and generally adequate) authority to regulate power utilities. Law not fully, promptly implemented. Expanded role for PSC necessary to provide adequate control. Water utilities: Water rate control is generally local and needs tightening; state should play larger role in conservation.
3. Support funding all legal abortions performed on mothers financially eligible for Medicaid assistance. Myrna B. Rosen, 36, of 9900 Georgia Ave., is a teacher. She is chairman of precinct 13-58 and is president of Americana Condo., Inc.
2. Yes, except as to utility rates.
3. Medicaid funding. David L. Scull, 35, of 8717 Susanna Lane, Chevy Chase, is a public-interest lawyer. He has served in the House of Delegates since 1974.
1. I would support a modest increase in the progressivity of the state income tax to permit reduction of the property tax.
2. Strengthening the PSC is a very high priority.
3. I oppose restrictions on Medicaid funding. Patricia R. Sher, 47, of 1916 Rockwood Rd., Silver Spring is a student. She was vice chairman this year of the Dollars for Democrats Drive.
1. I would support a system of taxation that is based upon the [WORD ILLEGIBLE] ability to pay, but because of the complexities relating to the income from commercial and industrial properties there is a need for a better integration of all tax sources; such as providing a "homestead exemption" within the property tax, extension of the circuit-breaker based on income, removing inequities in assessment practices as well as increased substitution of the income tax for the property is the way to go.
2. No. Strengthening the role of the PSC to provide for skilled evaluation of utility rates is vital. Pass-through of fuel cost adjustments are acceptable only when prudent management practices, expenditures for fuel supplies, plans for expansion and reasonable return on investment can be accurately investigated and analyzed by competent staff of PSC. The state must provide for that capability with the mandate and the money.
3. Women on welfare should have the same access to abortion that all other women in society have. 19th District Senate (Vote for 1) Sidney Kramer, 53, of 11500 Gilsan St., Silver Spring, has been a member of the Montgomery County Council and was council vice president in 1974.
1. Yes, however, equity demands that there be a variety of [WORD ILLEGIBLE] of revenue.
2. The regulatory agencies have the power but do not use their authority to properly represent the interests of the consumer. Relief can come only from a change in the membership of the agencies.
3. For therapeutic purposes - to preserve the physical or mental health of the welfare recipient. C. Lawrence Wiser, 48, of 12702 Littleton St., Silver Spring, is an attorney. He has been a member of the state Senate since 1975 and has served in the Maryland House.
1. No, since this increase would require an astronomical increase in the state income tax.
2. During the last two years, we have strengthened the powers of the Public Services Commission and the Peoples Counsel and have created a Citizens Advisory Board to advise the Public Service Commission.
3. Funding should be provided for abortions on the same criteria as abortions are permitted for others under the decision of the Supreme Court. House (Vote for 3) Be Be Bailey, of 13315 Norden Dr., Wheaton, is a publisher. She has been active in business groups and in working for implementation of ERA.
1. The income tax should be a major tax source. Using any tax "as a major tax" is unwise. Also, with Maryland's highest rate reached at $3,000 is inelastic. Finally, as the federal government relies heavily upon the tax, let's not overburden the taxpayer.
2. Glaring inadequacies exist in regulatory policy and practice. Legislative failure to monitor these agencies deprives the public of accountability. No outsider knows how they function, whether their staff and expertise is adequate. Citizens are deprived of a channel to elicit response or to be certain pressing needs will be acted on.
3. Widely disparate court decisions complicate "what is legal." Maryland's Court of Appeals has yet to explain its latest decision. Until more definitive rulings are made, current action can only be on the basis of "what has happened lately." Dennis Cochran, 38, of 309 Timberwood Ave., Silver Spring, is a teacher with the Montgomery County school system.
1. Yes, but I would recommend that it be a more progressive and graduated tax so that a person with $3,000 of taxable income does not have to pay the same tax as a person with $50,000 of taxable income. Also, the standard deduction should be raised to more closely represent increases in the cost of living.
2. No. I think that they should be enpowered with investigative capacity including the power to subpoena and recommend prosecution for gross violations of the existing limits or restrictions on charges.
3. Yes, after the mother has received appropriate counseling from recognized sources such as Birth Right. Idamae Garrott, 61, of 13115 Estelle Rd., Wheaton, has been active in civic affairs.
She has been a member of the Montgomery County Council (1966-1974).
1. I would support this if the state income tax is made progressive by raising standard deductions and graduating tax more fairly. Abolish state property tax so only local government can levy property taxes.
2. In any opinion, state regulatory agencies must be strengthened so that they can more adequately protect consumers. Consumers must have better representation on regulatory boards and commissions. We must budget for sufficient experts to dig into so-called "facts" that utilities present before commissions when they apply for rate increases so that the public can be protected.
3. I would support Medicaid funding for abortions consistent with Supreme Court decision of 1973, but would also strongly support state aid to Birthright and similar volunteer agencies that offer help to prospective mothers who choose to have their babies. Helen L. Koss, 56, of 3416 Highview Ct., Wheaton, was elected to the House of Delegates in 1970 and 1974.
1. Reliance on the property tax must be lessned and tax burden shifted to broad-based taxes more reflective of the taxpayer's ability to pay.
2. The restructuring of the Public Service Commission, accomplished by House Bill 1361 in 1976 set up a proper structure and gave it sufficient power for adequate public control of power utilities. The terms of that law still await complete implementation. Rates set by public water utilities are not governed by the PSC, but should be subject to review by local governments.
3. Legal abortions for women eligible for medical assistance should be funded by the state. Lucille Maurer, 55, of 1023 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring, has been a member of the Maryland House since 1969. She also has served on the Montgomery County School Board.
1. Support improving the equity of the income tax by structural revisions; support decreasing excessive reliance on local property tax. To make "piggyback" income tax the major source of local revenue would require drastic rate increases, which I oppose.
2. A 1976 law by Koss-Kopp-Robertson vastly improved the capability of the Public Service Commission to deal with highly complex and sophisticated rate requests by utilities; commission's rates, under study by a gubernatorial commission.
3. I supported the budget item for funding abortions under Medicaid. Eugene J. Zander, 74, of 2013 Franwall Ave., Silver Spring, has been a member of the House of Delegates for 12 years.
1. The feasibility of making the state income tax the major source of revenue is highly questionable - at least in the short term. Yes, I would now raise the minimum exemption and increase the graduation at the highest levels, however a broad updating of the tax should be based on a full study and balancing of all principal sources of revenue.
2. Enough power does exist, what with full-time Public Service commissioners, a Citizens Advisory Committee to PSC and the People's Counsel. Full enforcement and implementation of present controls will provide consumer-oriented regulation.
3. State should provide such funding so long as the procedure conforms with Supreme Court rulings and the individuals involved are entitled to Medicaid. 20th District Senate (Vote for 1) Victor L. Crawford, 46, of 9417 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, is an attorney and a Maryland state senator. He has headed the Montgomery County Senate delegation.
1. Only if by supporting such legislation it does not unduly burden Montgomery County taxpayers. Montgomery County taxpayers already pay 25 percent of the entire income tax collection for the State of Maryland; it would be unfair for us to pay more.
2. No. Unfortunately, too often the Public Service Commission and other commissions have been controlled by industry they are to regulate. I would favor more citizen participation in these regulatory agencies.
3. As long as the Supreme Court has held that abortions are available to all citizens as a matter of constitutional right, we should not discriminate against the poor. I would therefore support funding for abortions for welfare recipients since they are entitled to the same treatment as those more fortunate than themselves. Frank L. Pichini, Jr., 35, of 1509 Hampshire West Ct., Silver Spring, is a researcher and military historian.
1. No. It has been estimated that 40 percent or more of the extra income from a graduated income tax would come from Montgomery County. But under the distribution formulas the legislature has favored in recent years it is likely that most of the money would be redistributed to Baltimore City.
2. No State regulatory agencies have neither adeguate power nor funding to control the state's utilities, as evidenced by the inability of the Public Service Commission to control fuel adjustment charges during the recent coal strike.
3. I would support funding under the guidelines of legislation enacted during the 1978 session of the General Assembly. House (Vote for 3) Stewart Bainum Jr., 32, of 9039 Sligo Creek Pkwy., Silver Spring, senior vice president of a locally based health care organization.
1. Yes. Sales, property and gasoline taxes are all regressive, placing the major burden on those least able to carry it. A properly structured income tax is the most equitable way to raise the needed revenue.
2. No. I don't believe that the agencies are exercising adequate control or have enough power to do so. They are further handicapped by the lack of consumer advocate members.
3. As long as abortion is recognized as a legal medical procedure in the U.S., the state should provide funding for Medicaid abortions as is now provided by Maryland law. I would prefer broader based Maryland abortion legislation. Alexander Bell, 56, of 9618 Cottrell Terr., Silver Spring, is a plumber and has been a member of the House of Delegates for 12 years.
1. I support restructuring the state income tax system.
3. Only to save the life of the mother. Walter E. Carson, 35, of 917 Daleview Dr., Silver Spring, is a member of the House of Delegates and an attorney in Takoma Park.
1. Yes. I would support legislation to make the state income the major source of revenue for state and county government, thus spreading the costs of government.
2. Regulatory agencies have enough power. However, they have not been exercising that power in a method to protect the interest of the citizens of this state. The utilites in this state have corrupted the regulatory process to a point where these powerful companies obtain rate increases almost at their own whim and caprice. It is time to bring this to a top and to insist that the regulatory agencies exercise their power.
3. The Supreme Court of the United States has declared abortions through the first trimester of pregnancy to be within the choice of the mother. And, as always, since the rich can always get an abortion it does not - in my opinion - appear fair to deprive the poor of medical treatment and care available to more affluent members of our society. Thus, I would have no objections to allowing state welfare monies to be used for such purposes. This is not a statement of the morality of abortions, it asks only for equality among our citizens. Melvin Forbes, 26, of 1505 Hampshire W. Ct., Silver Spring, is an analyst.
1. With the growing taxpayers' revolt within the country. I would presently favor this legislation to help alleviate the tax burden.
2. State regulatory agencies should exercise their present control to determine and correct power shortages, water shortages and the curbing of the ever increasing utilities' cost.
3. State funding in those cases of incest, rape and the financial inability to support a child. Sheila Ellis Hixson, of 1008 Broadmore Cir., Silver Spring, is a former legal aide to the secretary of the Democratic National Committee. She was appointed to the General Assembly in 1976.
1. Yes, because the property tax has become too burdensome and I would put more weight on a graduated state income tax.
2. State regulatory agencies currently have enough authority. However. I am not convinced that they are adequately controlling power providers. I would suggest that in the future, stronger consumer oriented members be appointed to the state Public Service Commission.
3. I see abortions as a personal [WORD ILLEGIBLE] and the only time tax monies should be involved would be for [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Diane Kirchenbauer, 34, of 10414 Lorain Ave., Silver Spring, is a legislative aide in the state Senate. She is the county coordinator for the National Organization for Women.
1. I believe a progressive state income tax is a fairer system of taxation. If Maryland's tax structure were more income-responsive, there could be a shift away from property tax as a prime source of revenue.
2. I am a strong advocate of consumer and environmental protection. I would like to see the regulatory agencies fully utilize their authority to encourage conservation and protect consumers from the tyranny of rapidly increasing costs for essential commodities.
3. I support state Medicaid funding. I believe poor women should have access to the same safe medical procedures available to other women. Ida G. Ruben, of 11 Schindler Ct., Silver Spring, is a member of the House of Delegates and the Economic Matters Committee.
2. I am not aware of instances where state regulatory agencies have failed to control the actions of power and water utilities because of inadequate powers. There was some ambiguity in some areas regarding this power and regulations have been clarified. In some instances, however, I have felt that the powers which they do have could have been used more vigorously.
3. Under the same criteria used for any other legal medical procedure, if the woman and her doctor feel it is in the best interest of the woman.