Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) pledged Tuesday to spend more than $17 million a year if elected governor on an array of programs intended to promote women’s economic advancement, health and safety.
Brown’s “Strong Women, Strong Maryland” proposal includes plans to boost spending on child-care vouchers, create a start-up capital fund for women entrepreneurs and steer more money to breast and cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment, among other initiatives.
“Together, we must build a future where any Marylander can start a business, pursue a career or raise a family without being treated unfairly,” Brown said in a statement.
Brown’s policy proposals are the latest aimed at women from candidates in the June Democratic primary. Late last month, Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) put forward plans to ensure equal pay for women and to provide paid family leave time.
Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, another candidate in the race, has emphasized his commitment to several issues important to women in his advertising, including combatting domestic violence and sexual assault.
Brown argues that Maryland has made “tremendous progress” during the past seven years on several issues affecting women, including wage equity. But he says in the plan that the state can do more to address a situation in which women make 85 percent of what men do.
To that end, he proposes for the government to challenge Maryland businesses and organizations to set goals and report on their progress in increasing the number of women in leadership positions.
Brown’s 11-point plan also repackages some initiatives he has proposed before, including a universal pre-kindergarten program and an increase in the minimum wage. In 2012, 28 percent of households headed by single mothers lived in poverty, Brown says in his plan.