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?
Stephen A. Armhold (D), 44, of 5813 Middleton Court, Camp Springs, is president of the state Fraternal Order of Police. He served for 17 years on the Maryland National Capital Park Police, retiring on disability in 1979 after suffering an assault and battery while in the performance of duty.
Industry: I intend to support funding for programs developed by the state Department of Economic Development that are designed to attract new industry and employment opportunities throughout the state. I would support a proposal to increase unemployment benefits to those who have become jobless.
Reagonomics: I support that aspect of federalismthat transfers the responsibilities for determining funding priorities to that will result in the state's inability to carry out its responsibilities.
Amend: Fortunately, the state has been in a surplus posture. There is no cause at this time for a constitutional amendment to limit taxes or spending. Should the need arise, I feel that it should be left to the electorate to either reject or approve control of taxes and spending.
Crime: Mandatory sentencing for serious crimes against persons. Enforced sentencing for repeat offenders. Efficient execution of the Crime Injuries Compensation Fund to insure restitution for victims of crime. Increased funding for police and public safety organizations.
William Connelly (D), 30, of 7201 Shockley Court, Oxon Hill, attended the University of Maryland and Georgetown University. He is an attorney who served with the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps. He is active in civic and parish activities and a member of the Air Force Reserve.
Industry: Maryland is fortunate to have a diversified economic base consisting of agriculture, manufacturing, shipping and government service. The primary emphasis of the state should be on revitalizing our present economic base and putting people back to work in their occupations. The state can aid in this endeavor by continuing to produce a balanced state budget, maintaining the state's tax rate and regulatory burden at a level conductive. Increased attention needs to be paid to promoting tourism in Maryland. Millions visit Washington annually but few travel to adjacent Maryland to visit and spend their monies in historic Annapolis, revitalized Baltimore or the recreational areas of western Maryland, the Bay and the Eastern Shore.
Reagonomics: One year to the week after Congress passed the largest tax cut in the nation's history, the Senate voted to increase taxes by the largest measure ever. What national economic policy exists is in severe disarray. There is no unity evident in a Congress which is hooked on finding quick fixes to serious economic problems. The tax cuts approved a year ago are meaningless unless interest rates are lowered significantly. Two years into this administration there are no significant results in controlling government spending. Both defense and non-defense spending must be curbed and tax cuts deferred until the federal government stops running huge deficits.
Amend: No. Maryland's Constitution requires the state to produce a balanced budget each year. No further limit on spending is needed. The electorate responds vigorously to excessive taxes by voting out of office legislators responsible for these tax burdens. The Constitution need not serve as the regulating factor for taxes as this function is performed by the fotors.
Crime: The time between arrest and trial should be shortened to 90 days for felonies and 45 days for misdemeanors. This is adequate time for both the prosecution and the defense to prepare. The legislature should adopt sentencing guidelines for use by the judiciary. This would promote uniformity and eliminate inequities in the sentencing process. Communtiy service programs should be instituted for first-time juvenile offenders in order that the juvenile repay this community through work projects for his misconduct. The opportunity currently provided by statute for a juvenile charged with a second offense involving a deadly weapon to have his case heard by the Juvenile Court should be eliminated.
Marilyn S. Harrell (D), 39, of 5916 St. Moritz Dr., Temple Hills, is a real estate broker and employment specialist who attended the University of Maryland and Prince George's Community College. She has successfully initiated six different corporations, and is active in church, civic and Democratic Party groups.
Industry: I would work to reduce the interest rates in order that growth may be stimulated and the unemployment situation would become eased with the development of new business. I also favor subsidized business in redevelopment areas to stimulate faster growth and the absolution of projects that prohibit growth by deterring development.
Reaganomics: I oppose anything that places undue burdens upon the elderly or poor. I feel that the current tier-tax structures are essentially working in reverse and I would attempt to stimulate tax reform that would more equitably divide the burden and relieve the heavy responsibility now carried by the elderly and poor. I couldn't believe the program that "Let them each cheese:" I believe in giving the poor some dignity and this was very poorly handled.
Amend: My state already has provisions to limit spending to fall within budgeted sums. I am sure that the Constitution need not be tampered with in reforms and I would not open that "Pandora's Box. However, I feel fairly certain that if the entire picture were known, we could eliminate some programs that are costly in lieu of more favorable spending, such as an antiquated railroad that costs plenty and runs predominately in the state of Delaware, that Maryland residents are currently supporting.
Crime: I don't believe that someone who has shown that they can't be trusted (i.e., has commited a crime) should be promptly turned loose on the public with little or no difficulty. I also feel that we absolutely must keep ahead of the courts in providing adequate incarceration facilities. But I also feel that some crime is committed in desperation and we should firmly address these issues to try to correct the cause of some of our crimes with adequate care for the poor and care for drug-related problems in our society.
Ronald C. Hill (D), 44, of 4401 19th Ave., Hillcrest Heights, is an attorney and small business consultant. He is past president of the Hillcrest Heights Civic Association, and a member of local, state and national bar associations, the NAACP, and numerous other civic and community groups.
Industry: I would encourage the implementation of new programs presently conceived by the Department of Economic Development at attract new industry and increase employment. I would also seek to make the Maryland unemployment compensation comparable to that of our neighbor, the District of Columbia.
Reagonomics: I would oppose that part of the president's economic program which transfers programmatic responsibility to the states with a reduction in federal funding thereof. I would support the transfer of program responsibility to the states provided said program was provided with adequate federal funding.
Amend: Constitutional limits or controls on taxes and spending must be carefully weighed and extensively reviewed in light of both the short-and long-term impace upon its citizenry. I do not think present economic circumstances and conditions warrant such an amendment at this time.
Crime: 1) Mandatory sentencing for repeat serious felons. 2) Increase the number of sitting circuit judges and assistant state's attorneys. 3) Increase the number of police officers and support personnel. 4) Provide funding for additional correctional institutions.
Christine M. Jones (D), of 3518 Everest Dr., Hillcrest Heights, has been a Prince George's County resident for 16 years, and teaches in the county schools. A Democratic precinct captain and district coordinator, she was a delegate to the 1980 Democratic Convention. She is active in civic and service organizations.
Industry: To make the state economically viable by providing incentives that appeal to industry to establish and create jobs.
Reagonomics: I support his efforts to reduce the cost of government. I'm opposed to the inequity in the application of cost reduction, especially as it affects social programs.
Amend: I support such an amendment providing that any limits on taxes and spending are designed to promote the economic growth of the state and to provide the quality of life for all of its citizens.
Crime: Stricter penalties, adequate funding for the courts, development of prison reform and crime prevention programs, rehabilitation programs, increased public protection.
Marian L. Patterson (D), 55, of 5801 Walnut St., Temple Hills, has held office on the board of the Greater Southeast Community Hospital Foundation, the board of review of the state Department of Health, the League of Women Voters and the National Conference of Christians and Jews, among other organizations.
Industry: I would support economic development programs which would attract new industry to the state and at the same time provide reasonable protection to the environment. Speical attention should be given to those parts of the state where chronic unemployment has now risen to a rate much higher than the remainder of the state. Policies which would encourage the growth of business, especially those businesses which are willing to take a responsible attitude toward the protection of the enviroment, should be supported.
Reagonomics: The Reagon economic program is reminiscent of programs which were tried and failed in earlier Republic administrations. The trickle-down theory does not work. Efforts to stimulate reinvestment by business have failed to produce the desired effect. The New Federalism will put new responsibilities on the states without the necessary revenue to support them. The loss of federal funds in Maryland will affect such important services as education, health and public safety. I support Governor Hughes' position that the state of Maryland is willing to go through a "sorting process" and take on those responsibilities it reasonably can with adequate funding. We must bring interest rates down and restore the housing industry. We must carefully evaluate existing programs and make sure the taxpayers of Maryland are getting the greatest value for tax dollars spent.
Amend: Using a constitutional amendment toachieve restraints on spending is cumbersome and does not allow for fluctiations in the economy. In the 1982 session of the legislature a bill was passed creating a spending and debt afford ability committee which would be responsible for monitoring spending and limiting it to a percentage of the growth in personal income. I prefer this approach. I would support, if necessary, strengthening this legislation.
Crime: I support adequate funding forlocal public safety programs; improved rehabilitation programs and adequate accommodations for those incarcerated; a review of mandatory sentencing and assistance and support for the judiciary to bring about a reduction in the length of time between apprehension and trial; and a review of programs to assist the victims of crime.
Catherine V. Porter (D), 58, of 1012 Lindsay Rd., Oxon Hill, is a homemaker and volunteer worker. She presently holds office in three Democratic clubs and has served as a poll watcher, election judge and precinct chairman. She also is active in numerous church and cultural organizations.
Industry: In order to attract new industry, we should make the state a desirable place in which to live, work and injoy recreation, giving tax breaks or credits to those opening new businesses until they are well settled. The high schools should teach manual skills, carpentry, building, mechanics, electrical repair, hairdressing, etc., also offer a computer course.
Reagonomics: I like the idea of a balanced budget, less government and a strong defense. I do not liek the deletion of funds for the elderly and reduction of food stamps nor the loss of jobs for teachers -- if that can be credited to the REagan program. It is unfair to even consider cutting Social Security benefits for the retired except for those retired at full salary or above.
Amend: Laws should be made when needed to limit taxes and spending. Wise and prudent spending of funds could save the taxpayer money.
Crime: Stricter law enforcement, stiffer sentences for the criminal, the offender to pay for property damages and injuries. More parental responsibility and supervision. More police patrols with additional funds to help combat crime.
Frederick Charles Rummage (D), (Incumbent) 51, of 6300 George Washington Dr., Camp Springs, Md., has served in the House of Delegates since 1967, and is a member of the Rules and Policy committees. The executive director of the Prince George's County Educators' Association, he is an attorney and former teacher.
Industry: Two major economic development challenges face the next General Assembly: Ensure the effective operation and the expansion of the many programs recently enacted to improve the economic development, and housing efforts. These include the foreign trade zone law to attract foreign investment to Maryland; the enterprise zone programs to target state resources at economically distressed areas and the chronically unemployed; the small business developmentfinancing program to provide working capital for small and minority businesses; the single-family-financing mortgage program to provide affordable housing and to aid the construction industry; and the industrial revenue bond law to provide a flexible financing tool for county economic development efforts.
Reagonomics: The Reagan economic program iw a failure. The so-called block grants amount to a reduction in dollars to the states and local subdivisions. It is therefore essential to prioritize programs, paring those that can be, and eliminating others, or pick up the total costs. Unemployment is at its highest level since the Great Depression. The automobile and building industries, and the many related to them, have far surpassed the recession stage. The administration has brought inflation down below the double-digit level, but the price paid to do so by the citizens and industry is far too great. The wheels of industry must start turning at their normal rate.
Amend: There is no need to pass a constitutional amendment to place a limit on state spending. Legislation has been enacted that places a limit on spending by restricting spending to 90 percent of the growth of personal income annually. The fiscal committees have begun line-item review of the state budget. Vacancies are eliminated and every agency of government must justify its existence. With these and other cost-saving measures initiated, an inflexible constitutional amendment would amount to overkill.
Crime: Crime and unemployment have a high correlation. All efforts must be made to expand the industrial base and reduce unemployment. Convicts must be punished according to the severity of the crime. The image of the judicial system must be changed. Either the courts are not punishing equitably or they are doing something which makes it appear as though they are easy on the criminal. Greater efforts must be made to rehabilitate the criminal. Jobs must be provided immediately upon release. But the four-tiem loser must be put away for good.