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?
Amend: Should the state amend its constitution to limit taxes or spending?
Crime: What proposals would you support to address the crime problem?
B.W. Mike Donovan (D), (Incumbent) 62, of 7112 Mason St., District Heights, a real estate broker, was elected to the state Senate in 1978. Previously, he had been a state delegate since 1966. During his years of service he has emphasized property tax reform and programs for the elderly, veteran
Industry: Proposals to increase job opportunities by providing additional support to large and small businesses through tax incentives, low interest loans to modernize and the retraining of workers to new technology positions.
Reaganomics: I oppose the reduction in federal support on the domestic programs which affect the elderly, the poor and the unemployed. I also oppose the continued pressure of the president to raise revenues through new and increased taxes in order to balance the federal budget.
Amend: I would be willing to study reasonable proposals in these two areas. Maryland now is a balanced budget state in that expenditures cannot exceed revenues. The rating of the state is AAA, and that rating should not be jeopardized by limiting taxing powers.
Crime: Increased budgets for correctional facilities, additional manpower and police aid to the urban areas. More severe sentencing, stricter bail bond provisions and tighter parole provisions.
James H. Easter (D), 33, of 72 Cable Hollow Way, Largo, is an instructor at Prince George's Community College. He was administrative assistant to now Rep. Steny Hoyer when Hoyer was state Senate president and was legislative aide to two U.S. senators.
Industry: My first consideration is to put Marylanders back to work. We need job training programs. We can attract new industry by creating tax incentives. We need to have a more productive economy. If we reduce interest rates and home mortgage interest rates, the construction industry will go back to work and help open up the economy.
Reaganomics: I oppose Reagnomics. I oppose Reagan.
Crime: We need to increase state aid to subdivisions to enhance police protection and provide aid to the victims of crime. Public safety should never be compromised. We must maintain the safety to our communities by ensurin9 swift punishment for those who commit violent crimes.
Horace J. Hillsman (D), 43, of 3706 Stonecliff Rd., Suitland, a computer systems consultant, has worked with both government and private industry, including Fortune 500 companies. He has served on committees for area planning and environmental preservation, and is active in civic, business and professional groups.
Industry: Introduce legislation to provide tax and other incentives to businesses in order to attract high-quality firms to the new industry economic strategy for Maryland. Become instrumental in recruiting to the state national and international businesses, especially high-technology firms. Assure that businesses locating in the newly created foreign trade zones employ a high percentage of Marylanders and local citizens. Introduce legislation for the establishment of a state-funded retraining and skills-development program so that more people may gain meaningful employment in existing or newly attracted businesses. Extend unemployment compensation benefits to persons currently unemployed because of present economic conditions. Provide legislation for a properly managed state-funded CETA-type program. Provide a means whereby some unemployed persons can work on state-funded capital inprovement projects on a part-time and/or temporary basis.
Reaganomics: I strongly oppose those parts of the Reagan economic program which deprive deserving individuals of badly needed human services and education. I believe the President's priorities are unrealistic and pose hardships to too many people. The administration should take an in-depth and careful look at defense spending. Although we must maintain a superior military readiness, we must also properly control cost overruns on defense projects. I believe $25 billion to $35 billion can be saved each year if firm but fair cost-overrun criteria is established and enforced. These savings should be channeled into human services programs. Mr. Reagan's economic program allows the rich to get richer, the poor to get poorer, and the middle-class taxpayers to finance it all. Funding should be restored for successful human services programs. Unless full funding for education programs is restored immediately, this nation will suffer the consequences for many decades to come.
Amend: No. If taxes are limited, spending becomes limited also. I believe responsible and effective fiscal management of state resources is a better alternative. Innovative ways of generating additional revenues, without increasing taxes, if the proper solution to taxes and spending. For instance, planned and properly controlled economic development and attracting new businesses to the state will contribute to our tax base, thereby reducing the need for increased taxes. Modern resource- management techniques should be applied throughout all state agencies in order to help control waste and the need for unnecessary spending. Because it is virtually impossible to accurately predict economic and inflationary variables, long-range tax limits cannot realistically be projected. The TRIM Amendment in Prince George's County is a good example of limits on tax and spending which have failed in recent years because of unpredictable economic variables. Elected officials must devise budgets that are reasonable, fair and equitable.
Crime: I would support proposals to help alleviate the roots of the crime problem. In the juvenile area, I would help to develop and support programs so that young people may channel their energies in directions of constructive and meaningful activities. These would include providing state funds for extracurricular and recreation activities after school. I would also enhance the Business Community--Youth Cooperative Program so that more students may earn extra money after school. In the adult area, I would consult law enforcement officials, criminal justice officials, business leaders and citizens in order to develop criteria for appropriate legislation to effectively deal with criminals. I would recommend the appointment of more judges to help reduce the criminal caseload backlog. I would support proposals which help streamline the judicial process, with safeguards for individual rights. I would introduce legislation for "repeat offenders courts" in order to alleviate our communities of hardened criminals.
Alexander D. Reid (D), 61, of 1919 Porter Ave., Suitland, is a vocational development teacher at Suitland Senior High School. An Army veteran, he is active in the Suitland Civic Association and in voter registration. He also is an adult Sunday school teacher and a lay speaker in his church.
Industry: A regional computer service center for each geographic area would be a project I would like to see undertaken. With the rapid utilization of computers in our daily lives, we will need more individuals skilled in service.
Reaganomics: I oppose the present administration's efforts to improve the economy by terminating the employment of those citizens who can least afford to be out of a job.
Amend: It is my opinion that the state should maintain the fiscal authority to adjust taxes or spending whenever there is a legitimate need to do so.
Crime: Citizens should become more involved in neighborhood watch and operation identification programs. Second time offenders of felonies should face more severe penalties as a result of their actions.
Alvin Thornton (D), 33, of 6010 Elmendorf Dr., Suitland, is a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. John Conyers. He has been an associate professor of political science at Morgan State University and Howard University and has written widely about government. He is active in PTA and the NAACP.
Industry: Attracting new industry to the state is not so much the problem as is the rational revitalization of that we have and adding to it where reasonable. This would involve investing more in human capital (education), investment in public capital, government purchasing programs to help new industries, reforms in the tax system and a state investment bank. More public service employment is necessary until the economy is rationalized.
Reaganomics: There are no parts of the Reagan program with which I agree. It can only be comprehended if viewed as a complete package. From its actions in the foreign affairs area to the crucial domestic policies, I see no basis for agreeing with it. Until it can be reversed by the voters, state representatives will have the responsibility of energizing the state economy and will have to meet the disregarded needs of their people who are up against ills that are essentially caused by national phenomena. The base of support of the representative will have to be made broader, which can only come with new, creative and independent representatives.
Amend: No, the state should not amend its Constitution in this manner. In a balanced budget proposal passed by the U.S. Senate and now before the House, there are so many loopholes that Congress can use to get around a ctually imposing a tax limitation, that it really isn't a limitation at all. Whatever would be passed at the state level would be no more than a political game played on the people of the state of Maryland. There is a political motive behind those who are calling for limitations on taxes and spending, and those motives relate not so much to fiscal responsibility but to an unwillingness to fund social programs that help people. Nothing can replace electing persons who will responsibly spend and collect needed funds to operate the state. The amendment assumes the voter will pass it and go home, leaving the political process to itself. This can only have a retarding effect on the voters of the state.
Crime: There are several proposals that can improve the security of our community from "street" and "white collar" crime. More effective police protection, investment in human capital (education), more prosecutors to search after white collar criminals that initiate most of the street crime, rehabilitation Programs in the jails and state prisons, eliminate unemployment and require educational training for all inmates.