Candidates for the Maryland Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Sentences: In what cases, if any, would you support legislation requiring judges to impose mandatory sentences? Do you feel Maryland should build a maximum security facility for juvenile offenders? Please explain.
Spending: In which areas of government should the state spend more money or less? Please be specific.
Legislation: Give three examples of legislation you intend to propose.
Timothy F. Maloney (D), incumbent, 26, of 11232 Cherry Hill Rd., Beltsville, was elected in 1978 as the youngest member of the General Assembly. He serves on the Appropriations Committee and other committees on law enforcement and corrections. He is active in the Beltsville Citizens Association and many civic and fraternal organizations.
Sentences: (a) I support existing statutory requirement for mandatory sentences for repeat offenders who possess drugs with intent to distribute; commit a felony with a handgun; or drive while intoxicated. (b) The existing allocation for planning a juvenile maximum security prison would be better spent by upgrading security, disciplinary programs and training at existing juvenile facilities. The legislature must first pay more attention to management problems in the Department of Juvenile Services.
Spending: The state should spend less money in the areas of (a) non-state capital construction funds; (b) new highway construction; (c) subsidies to special-interest groups, such as scrap processing vendors, and (d) expansion of the Baltimore subway system. The state should spend more funds on (a) upgrading our higher education system; (b) expansion of the capital construction program and training programs in the State Department of Corrections, and (c) expanding community-based programming for the handicapped.
Legislation: 1) Mandatory covers on dump trucks. 2) A special correctional facility for drunk drivers. 3) Tighter controls on submission of utility rate increase applications to the state Public Service Commission.
Pauline H. Menes (D), incumbent, 58, of 3517 Marlbrough Way, College Park, an economist and geographer, has served in the House since 1967. Her legislative appointments have included committees and task forces on alchoholism, education and law enforcement and corrections. She has received many awards for her legislative work.
Sentences: The concept of mandatory sentences runs counter to the constitutional philosophy of separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of government. The judge and jury who hear the facts of each case are the only ones who can decide guilt and innocence as well as the appropriate sentence. Mandatory sentences take discretion out of the hands of those with the facts and require everyone to be treated alike. Our use of plea bargaining also makes mandatory sentences ineffective, as in most cases it is those mandatory sentence charges which are dropped in exchange for a guilty plea. I do not think that Maryland should build a maximum security facility for juvenile offenders. One secure building on the grounds of a presently operating juvenile facility would be more cost effective and appropriate.
Spending: Maryland has had a system of budget review and "sunset" which have given the legislature the knowledge with which it could reduce costs and eliminate the existence of some boards and commissions. In addition, Maryland has a required balanced budget. These circumstances provide confidence that each expenditure is needed if the service is to be provided. I know of no service which I would recommend be cut completely. Control of duplication of services and growth is where savings may be possible. In the area of increased state programs I would support expansion and increased staffing in state corrections, and greater state support for the University of Maryland.
Legislation: 1) Drunk driving: This bill will establish a drunk driver correctional facility to punish persons who have been convicted of drinking-and-driving offenses. It would be almost completely self-supporting and would be run and administered separate from the county jail. 2) Estate tax: This bill will provide the authority under state law for the estate and gift tax marital deduction formula to come under the more liberal Federal Tax Act of 1981. 3) Senior citizens: This bill will provide services to older citizens that will delay for as long as possible the need for them to be housed in high-cost nursing home facilities.
Thomas J. Mooney (D), incumbent, 38, of 705 Elm Ave., Takoma Park, a delegate since 1979, is vice chairman of the Bi-County Committee and serves on the Environmental Matters Committee. A political consultant, he has done graduate work in government and has received a number of awards for his civic involvement.
Sentences: 1) Commission of a crime with a handgun. 2) Third conviction for narcotics dealing. Yes, we need to isolate the hard-core, violent, sociopathic element among juvenile offenders. Rehabilitation will be made easier for the remainder of offenders if the hard-core are isolated.
Spending: More money should be spent for jobs, job retraining, education, senior citizen programs, unemployment benefits, public safety and roads and mass transit. Less money should be spent for legislators' salaries and expenses, indepent consultants and abortions.
Legislation: 1) A bill to replace a verdict of "not guilty by reason of insanity" to "guilty but insane" 2) A measure to mandate a one-year moratorium on utility rate increases. 3) A bill to increase criminal penalties for those convicted of crimes against senior citizens.