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.
B. W. Mike Donovan (D), incumbent, 62, of 7112 Mason St., District Heights, was elected to the state Senate in 1978, after serving in the House of Delegates from 1967 to 1978. His legislative work has emphasized property tax reform and programs for veterans, the elderly and the handicapped. He is real estate broker and a retired Air Force officer.
Sentences (a) The delicate balance between the three branches of government must not be disturbed by the legislature directing the judiciary in the performance of its responsibilities. However, I would like to see more emphasis on standardized sentencing by the judges. (b) Some type of facility certainly is needed to house our juvenile offenders.
Spending: Areas that are of special interest to me and that call for additional funding are programs for the handicapped and the elderly -- those least able to lobby for themselves, and who need the most care.
Legislation: 1) Additional legislation to enhance the quality of care for terminally ill citizens during their final days (hospice care). 2) Additional legislation to earmark funds for the Gateway II program for the frail and disabled elderly. 3) Something in the area of more group homes and adult workshops for the mentally handicapped and developmentally disabled.
James Whitehead (R), 25, of 2304 Ramblewood Dr., District Heights, is a legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp. He also has served on the staffs of four other members of the U.S. House and Senate. A Maryland native, he served a six-year tour of duty in the Navy and has been active in civic groups in the county.
Sentences: (a) Mandatory sentencing is necessary in cases of crime involving another's life or in the case of rape. (b) I would be opposed to maximum security facility for juveniles unless they have a proven criminal record of being violent and repeat offenders. It is my belief that if it is possible to rehabilitate a youth and produce a working citizen, then it is worthwhile to invest in that future rather than spend the taxpayers' dollars on nonproductive, and sometimes unnecessary, incarceration.
Spending: I would like to see state government expenditures increase in the areas of small-business management and development, along with increased government support for crime prevention and criminal detention facilities. There is documented evidence that small businesses historically fail not only because of needed capital and burdensome taxes, but also because of financial and developmentental mismanagement. There is equally growing concern for the need to increase state support for the war on crime, by concentrating on law enforcement research and development.
Legislation: 1) Enterprise zones would be a high priority to attract and encourage the much needed small-business development that our county is slowly losing. 2) Legislation authorizing tax credit for financial support given to the public educational institutions by private-sector contributors. 3) Tax incentive legislation for small businesses that offer job training programs to potential employes who might otherwise be unskilled and unemployed. A big problem today with may job opportunities is that we don't have enough workers who qualify. This way we help the unemployed and we help the business.