Travis Lerol for MD State House
The state of Maryland has had high rates of state taxes, even compared to its neighbors. It has a 6% sales tax, while VA has 5.3, NC has 4.75, and Delaware has none. In addition, income tax rates are high, with eight tax brackets...escalating so quickly that someone making a mere $4000 a year has already gone through half of them. The state is running a $2.5 billion surplus, which it says it will "save for a rainy day." I believe that the economic upset of the pandemic certainly ought to qualify, and we should begin lowering taxes now.
- Remove sales tax from all medicine and medical devices, prescription or not. Historically, sales tax has not been applied to needs such as food and shelter. Medicine is a need, and we should join the 13 states that already provide such an exception.
- Remove all tax brackets below $10,000, and replace them with a single, untaxed bracket. No taxes on the first $10,000 of income will provide a tax break to every Marylander, and simplify the tax code.
- Tie all tax brackets to inflation, so that "tax the rich" increases stop trickling down to every Maryland citizen.
The efforts to fight Covid-19 have resulted in a great many policy changes and restrictions. We need to return to normal, and the intensely partisan attitudes surrounding mitigation efforts are causing us to fight one another, rather than the disease.
- All proposals to turn vaccine paperwork into a mandatory passport to eat, buy groceries, etc are unconstitutional, and must be prevented.
- Emergency powers limitations. While short term emergencies do exist, emergency powers are not meant to be lived under for months or years. A two week limitation, with limited, legislature approved extensions is necessary.
- Vaccines are a matter of personal choice. You should neither have to wait for federal authorization to receive a booster, nor should you be forced to if you do not want to.
- School choice should be improved, allowing parents to place their children where they are safest and most able to learn.
There has been a bipartisan effort to raid the transportation fund for other projects. As a result, traffic has increased, and not only has insufficient provision been made to prepare for population growth, MD is running a $2 billion dollar deficit merely to maintain the roads we have. If left unfixed, traffic will only worsen.
Specific Policy Proposals:
*Longer on/off ramps for smoother merging.
*Increased speed limits where existing traffic flow is already above the posted limit and it is safe to do so. Road work may be necessary to do this in a safe fashion.
- Reserve all transportation funds exclusively for roads, bridges, etc.
- Emergency efforts to repair existing potholed road.
- Explore and pursue traffic mitigating policy changes, such as
Several areas of Maryland have experienced rates of crime that are extremely high relative to the rest of the country. Baltimore in particular has had an unsolved crime epidemic for decades, with fewer than 3% of property crimes being solved. Instead of addressing this, recent bills criminalized children letting go of balloons. Our law enforcement needs to prioritize victimizing crimes.
Decriminalize all victimless crimes. If a corporation is permitted to sell marijunna commercially, a gardener should not go to jail for growing the wrong plant.
- Remove legal limitations on successful dependency reduction programs, such as the ethnogenic studies at John Hopkins. Opiod dependency is highly correlated with crime, and less addiction is a first step to lowering crime rates.
- Enforcement prioritization. Criminalizing new, victimless behaviors reduces law enforcement capacity to pursue important crimes. So long as violent crimes and property crimes are going unaddressed by police, they should not be devoting resources to minor affairs.
- Test the existing evidence. Approximately three years of rape kits remain untested in Baltimore, and fingerprints are similarly backlogged. This work can be outsourced to other labs in order to catch up, and it must be performed.
Many firearm restrictions have been passed in past years, and none have meaningfully affected rates of violence, or otherwise helped the state of Maryland in any way. The 2A is quite clear:all gun control legislation is illegitmate, and should be repealed.
- The Maryland requirement for handguns to be sold with a lock is redundant with a federal regulation requiring the same thing, resulting in handgun owners purchasing two locks and throwing one away. This is wasteful, and should be immediately repealed.
- Restrictions on what may be purchased in the state merely drives sales across state borders. Gun stores and shows cluster near our border, just as firework warehouses do next to states that ban fireworks. Maryland would be better served by keeping that money here, and repealing all such restrictions.
- A blanket prohibition on any seizure of firearms without the defendent having a day in court. If a federal law is passed requiring such a thing via red flag laws, etc, then state officials should be prohibited from enforcing or assisting with any such effort.
Maryland has some of the best and worst schools in the country, and spends more on the latter than the former. School choice should be expanded, allowing more parents to send their children to the school that is right for them.
- Anti-fraud enforcement. A superintendent in Baltimore was recently caught enrolling dead kids in fake classes to pump numbers for financial gain...for her second time. It is bad enough that such a thing happened once, but it should never happen twice.
- Building repair. Some districts have had difficulty with the most basic maintence, with even heating and A/C being non functional during the warmest and coldest months. Funding has been specifically allocated to fix this at both the state and federal levels, it is time to investigate why it hasn't.
- School Choice. Maryland currently offers *no* public school choice via open enrollment. We can change this, and use a voucher system for all students.
- All school payments should be tax deductable in the same year.
Term Limits: Maryland currently has no term limits for either house or senate. This has resulted in a mostly-unchanging legislature that does not represent the people as they are today. Fifteen states already have either an 8 or 12 year limit, we should as well.
Is there an issue you'd like to see addressed that hasn't been? Please, let us know!