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?
Brian E. Frosh (D), 35, of 6100 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda, is an attorney who formerly served as a Legislative assistant for the U.S. Senate labor committee. He is a director of the State National Bank of Maryland and is a member of the Maryland, D.C. and Montgomery County bar associations.
Industry: The state must target high-technology industry for development. Maryland will lose many thousands of jobs in manufacturing and heavy industry within the next several years. The creative potential of high-technology industry offers an opportunity to stem those losses and to generate new employment as well. Maryland has a base of knowledge, talent and resources which is already attractive through carefully selected programs designed to provide technical assistance and venture capital and to encourage the generation of knowledge. The return in tax dollars and new jobs will more than offset any costs incurred. The state should upgrade the University of Maryland 1) to help provide the research/knowledge base necessary to generate the ideas, inventions and applications to form the core of the new economy; and 2) to train our students for the jobs of the future.
Reaganomics: The Reagan administration's tax policy is ill-conceived and inequitable. In order to generate new investment, the tax legislation enacted last year provided huge new deductions for businesses at a cost to the federal government (through 1990) of over $53 billion. Despite these mammoth tax breaks, new investment in plant and equipment has been dropping at record rates. The new tax program also dramatically favors big businsses over small businesses. Eighty percent of the new tax breaks will be enjoyed by the top tenth of 1 percent of America's corporations (about 1,000 firms). Small business, however, have generated approximately 80 percent of all net new jobs in recent years. Unfortunately, Maryland copied these federal corporate tax breaks last year. Unless the legislature changes the state law, Maryland will lose hundreds of millions of dollars as a result.
Crime: a) The General Assembly should enact legislation to restrict the availability of short- barreled handguns known as "snubbies." Because they can be easily concealed, snubbies are the overwhelming choice of street criminals. They are used in two out of three handgun crimes. Snubbies have an accuracy range of only a few feet and are, therefore, unsuitable for most legitimate purposes. b) Criminals should be required to repay their victims. Maryland does not now an effective program of restitution for victims of crime. Victim restitution programs in other parts of the country have been successful in obtaining compensation for the victim, reducing recidivism and increasing public confidence in the criminal justice system. The legislature should see to it that the necessary support services are available so that judges can order nonviolent, first offenders to repay their victims as a condition of closely supervised probation.
John J. Sexton (D), 52, of 5822 Highland Dr., Chevy Chase, is an attorney and former chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. He is chairman of the Council on Taxation of the Federal Bar Association and vice chairman of the county's Charter Review Commission.
Industry: Major considerations to business in selecting locations are educational and recreational opportunities and housing availability. We are strong in all three areas. We should be encouraging industries of the future such as high technology. It is important to improve the quality of these resources, particularly education. A priority will be improving University of Maryland and community colleges such as Montgomery College. Tax policy is important - we must not have a Maryland tax system that is more onerous than competing jurisdictions'. About 75 percent of new jobs are created by expansions of existing business. We must maintain a climate conducive to expansion of existing business -- e.g., having roads required for development by the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. I have proposed a Maryland Recovery Authority, whose initial task would be to put construction workers, who have a 30 percent unemployment rate, to work doing needed repairs on deteriorating bridges and roads.
Reaganomics: I support President Reagan's efforts to reduce unnecessary or ineffective government programs, although I disagree in many cases on what comes within this category. I support the overall effort to reduce government expenditures, but disagree on many specific items. With respect to the New Federalism, I am prepared to examine, program by program, each item proposed to be turned over to the state. I am confident that in some cases I will support transfer. In the principal areas proposed, food stamps and certain welfare programs (AFDC, Aid for Families with Dependent Children), the principal responsibility should remain federal. I generally favor the provisions of the Economic Recovery Act of 1981, except for safe harbor leasing and except that the extent of the tax cuts was too great. I think the revision in the depreciation rules was appropriate, although I would have drawn the lines in somewhat different places.
Crime: I support short mandatory minimum jail sentences for people who are not habitual criminals, for example, short (E.G., 48 hours) mandatory minimum sentences for drunk driving. Mandatory minimum sentences do not appear to be a deterrent for habitual criminals, but I think would be a real deterrent for those who are not habitual criminals. I support the legislation which passed this year authorizing funds for expansion of state and County prison facilities. On the other hand, incarceration is clearly not adequate by itself. I support state and county prerelease centers which lessen the problem of repeat offenders through programs designed to teach marketable skills to soon-to-be released prisoners and help them integrate back into their community. The county prerelease center has a good success rate.