Candidates for state Senate and House of Delegates were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Industry: What plans do you have to attract new industry to the state and to help those now unemployed?
Reaganomics: What parts of the Reagan economic program do you support or oppose?
Kay G. Bienen (D) (Incumbent), 44, of 8016 Sandy Spring Rd., Laurel, has been a member of the House of Delegates for eight years. Her committee assignments have included environmental affairs, mental health, education of the handicapped and utilities. She is active in civic, professional and arts groups.
Industry: Tax breaks to new industry, but we have to encourage housing so that new employees can find a place to live. Want a "clean" industry, not additional warehouses or those that add pollution to our air and/or waters. During the extraordinary special session on Aug. 6, we appropriated extra benefits for those unemployed currently receiving extended benefits. Would encourage training programs.
Reaganomics: The theory of block grants was okay--in fact, the Reagan economic program has only been an excuse to cut federal aid to the state. Much of the money coming in to Maryland has had as many "strings" as previous aid, but there is less of it.
Amend: No. Maryland has a constitutional requirement for a balanced budget. As the federal dollars are cut, we will have to increase state spending to maintain certain programs. Educational aid to handicapped and the elderly will need to be giVen additional dollars. During this time of fiscal uncertainity we must remain flexible within the confines of a balanced state budget.
Crime: Building of additional, secure Jails, smaller in size. Increasing use of alternatives to jail for nonviolent criminals. Better use of rehabilitation programs for juvenile offenders, stricter limits on parole. Mandatory sentencing for violent crimes and increased use of restitution programs. Plus greater help for victims of crime.
Pamela Mack (D), 37, 10062 Quantrell Row, Columbia, is chairwoman of the Columbia Council and Columbia Association board of directors. Previously, she was chairwoman of the Howard County Housing Task Force and Columbia Association transition committee. She is a member of community groups.
Industry: Maryland spent more than $11 million last year on the Department of Economic Development, with the major emphasis on recruiting industry and business to Maryland. Critical to recruitment efforts are an excellent educational system, an excellent roadway and transportation system and an affordable level of housing for all. In light of federal spending cuts in education, I would support more state monies in education. I do not support repeal of the gasoline tax, and I support stimulation of the housing industry through increased investment of state pension plan funds into state mortgage programs. Obviously, the successful recruitment of business to Maryland is one way to aid the unemployed. In addition, I would work for state job training programs that incorporate better planning in light of technical advances and that take advantage of the educational facilities already in place. I also believe unemployment benefits need to be improved, e.g. extending benefits in times of severe unemployment.
Reaganomics: The textbook theory of supply side economics and that conceptual basis of the New Federalism of more local control of federal programs can both be sound economic programs. However, the Reagan program for implementation was doomed from its beginning. Major human services cuts and deregulation of long-fought-for environmental controls under the guise of stimulating investments made the program too costly on a human scale. When you couple that with major increases in defense spending, you do not have a sound economic program but rather a shift in governmental priorities. I oppose the Reagan program.
Amend: No. The state of Maryland has a constitutional amendment that requires a balanced budget. Within that, the legislature must maintain flexibility to operate its programs.
Crime: Crime has been one of the recurring major concerns I have heard while campaigning. I support stricter nondiscretionary sentencing. Many of our "mandatory" sentencing bills, e.g. Last year's handgun bill, allow the mandatory sentence to be suspended at the discretion of the judge. In addition, I support the construction of additional prisons, the yearly assessment of rehabilitation programs, more restitution programs and increased support to juvenile services programs, e.g. the forestry camp program.
Thomas M. Yeager (D), 45, of 7437 Cherry Tree Dr., Fulton, district sales manager for Hewlett- Packard Co., has been a member of the Howard County Council since 1974. He is active in a number of civic groups, including the Clarksville Lions Club, Boy Scouts, Friends of the Library and the Howard County Striders.
Industry: I feel the Department of Economic and Community Development, with its national and international programs, has been doing an effective job. The structure is in place so we need to expand in some areas and streamline others. My recommendations are: 1.) Enterprise zones. Increase our efforts in restoring and revitalizing economically stressed areas, promote the tax incentive plan and coordinate the efforts with the Small Business Administration. 2.) On-the-job training and retraining. Some of the unemployed no longer have marketable job skills. Technology has bypassed a majority of them. I would work to centralize the various retraining programs (apprenticeship programs, CETA and the Office of Business Liaison) under one group. 3.) Business and industrial development. Strengthen this department with additional funding so they can continue to do an effective job of attracting new industries from national and international locations through their effective advertising and promotional activities. 4.) Office of Business Liaison. Be more aggressive in working with local officials in expanding already existing businesses. 5.) Industrial revenue bonds. Continue this program with emphasis on businesses with large job potentials.
Reaganomics: The part of the Reagan economic program that I support is the concept of shifting control of the needed services to state governments. The state is in a better position to administer and deliver the needed services in a more efficient manner to those in need. Also, the state can make a better evaluation of the quality of services delivered and the effectiveness of the programs. What I don't like is the shifting of the $38 billion of programs and only $20 billion in revenue. The $18 billion shortfall, I believe, cannot be made up by more efficient methods of administering the programs or elimination of unneeded programs. But rather the shortfall will be made up by the elimination of necessary programs. To minimize the effects, the state should carefully evaluate each and every program to determine its necessity and effectiveness. Across-the-board cuts should be avoided. A dditional funds should be appropriated for vital programs.
Amend: No, each budget center should be thoroughly evaluated. Programs should be approved or disapproved on their necessity rather than on arbitrary spending limits.
Crime: Criminal justice reforms are one of the most important issues facing the General Assembly. There are a number of factors where improvement is necessary for the state to have an effective system. I will actively support the following: 1.) Additional jail space is a key element in having a more effective criminal justice system. Many times parole is granted because of the unavailability of adequate jail space. Similarly, judges give suspended sentences for the same reasons. These decisions should be based on the individual conduct prior to sentence or his state of rehabilitation in parole cases. 2.) A very important concept is a rehabilitation program, aimed at first- and second-term offenders. Only if we can provide meaningful employment can recidivism be reduced. To do this, marketable job skills have to be taught along with working with private industry to provide gainful employment. 3.) Granting of parole should be tightened up. Complete rehabilitation should be the reason for parole, not available jail space.