In addition to the information provided on this page, I have completed a couple surveys and participated in a forum that will give you a more comprehensive view of my positions on issues:
Our healthcare system has been broken for some time. While we have some of the best doctors and specialized medical services in the world, our quality of healthcare is always one of the worst among wealthy nations. We must do better! My wife Jenn has been a type 1 diabetic for 30 years. It costs $850 a month just to keep her alive. Other diabetics reading this understand this all too well. Those with chronic diseases that require monthly treatment understand how you are being asked to pay more of your hard earned money to treat your disease.
I am convinced more and more every day that the only real way out of our problems is to find cures for diseases and cancer. However, we must also introduce policy to control price gauging on drugs. I read an article that the cost of a 12-week course of treatment for hepatitis C is between $55k and $94k! It is estimated that one of the drugs likely costs $140 to manufacture. Putting profits above curing people of a disease must stop! Enough is enough!
We must first address basic climate environment problems in our schools. Too many students were affected by heating problems in schools this past winter. I will support increased grant funding for net zero energy school construction or existing school green technology retrofitting. The Wilde Lake Middle School was the first school of this type in Maryland: http://www.hcpss.org/schools/net-zero-wlms/
I will also push initiatives that require more vocational tech programs in our schools. Many children have been left behind and forgotten because they weren't destined for college. Not every child wants to attend college and many skilled trade jobs go unfilled because of the lack of qualified workers. We must align the needs of our country, our employers with what we are teaching in schools to prepare them for good paying jobs when they graduate high school.
I support and will fight for a living wage in Maryland and nationwide. Jobs that used to be for high school and college students either after school and during extended breaks are now careers for many people. For an individual working 40 hours per week, they would take home approximately $1200 per month. The majority of their take home pay would be spent on apartment rent, leaving nothing for food, utilities, transportation and clothing. Check out the MIT Living Wage Calculator: http://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/24005 We must implement a base living wage that applies to all states coupled with locality wage rates for higher cost of living areas.
The benefit of implementing a living wage is less people would require public assistance help for food and housing because they would have enough money to pay for those basic necessities. It also mean less administrative costs for the federal government.
If you are or know somebody who is a federal worker, you probably already know how restricted they are from accepting gifts from contractors. I was once at a government agency where I had scheduled after hours work on a project. As a contractor I couldn't even buy the team a pizza so they could eat while they worked on a system migration. We were all in the office after normal hours working and getting hungry.
What I have a problem with is that one set of rules apply to the entire federal workforce, yet thousands upon thousands of dollars injected into the system at the lawmaker level by lobbyists and it's ok? How can members of Congress and the Senate make decisions that are right for the people if their votes are clouded by who is making large donations to their political campaigns? We must reform the system!
It saddens me that the new administration has already started rolling back environmental protections that were put in place by the previous leadership. The transition from coal and oil to new clean energy is not a painless process. Some will lose jobs in industries like coal, but other sectors in clean energy will add jobs. We must continue to push industry and states to do better, to be cleaner, to take care of our environment.
The budget proposed by the administration earlier this year slashed federal funding for bay cleanup efforts from $73M to $0. Unacceptable! There is also an effort to push much of the environmental oversight at the federal level (EPA) down to the state level. We are moving in the wrong direction!
In this age of 24 hour connectivity it is important to have healthy and unpolluted nature areas that you can unplug from electronics, slow life down for short period of time and recharge the human spirit.