My name is Rich Madaleno. I have had the honor of serving the people of Maryland in the State House and Senate for the past 15 years. People know me as a policy expert, sometimes even as a wonk. People know me as a pragmatic, responsible leader on budget issues. They know me as crusader for civil rights and social justice. They know me as a proud husband and loving father. I am running for governor… and I am going to win.
I am the only Democrat who can take on – and beat – Larry Hogan.
I will win because there is no other candidate in the race - including the incumbent - who brings my track record of leadership and real results for the people of Maryland. I have served as an effective and unrelenting champion for the entire state. From education to transportation, from economic development to economic justice, from sustainable health care to environmental sustainability… no other candidate has taken on so many of the toughest fights from the inside – and won them.
On the critical issues facing the people of our state, we need a bold, tireless governor who can set an agenda of progress for all Marylanders. Larry Hogan is not that governor – Rich Madaleno will be that Governor.
United for Maryland Forum: Madaleno Responses to Questions
1. What are your plans for protecting the Chesapeake Bay if federal funding is cut?
Rich Madaleno: When the Trump administration proposed eliminating funding for Maryland’s programs to protect the Chesapeake, as State Senator, working with our congressional delegation, I helped restore federal funding for the Chesapeake Bay. If federal funding to protect the Chesapeake Bay is cut in the future, I would fight in the Maryland legislature, as I did when federal Planned Parenthood funding was threatened, to maintain funding for these important programs to protect our treasured Chesapeake Bay.
2. If we are able to move forward with improving the Affordable Care Act, and/or some other form of health insurance as a basic right, what improvements do you think are a priority?
Rich Madaleno: Health insurance is a basic human right. Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, I have co-sponsored laws to expand healthcare coverage and make healthcare affordable in Maryland. I support a state public option in Maryland to further expand healthcare coverage, control health care costs and move towards universal health coverage.
3. What do you see as the one overriding action that will increase diversity in Maryland politics?
Rich Madaleno: While there are many important steps -- from better education to better outreach -- to increase diversity in Maryland politics, public financing of elections and limiting the role of special interests and corporate money in politics is critical to increasing diversity in Maryland politics. I supported the state law which allows counties to establish public funding of candidates for County offices. Montgomery County adopted a public financing system in 2014, and this year’s primaries has produced a diverse group of candidates for County offices.
4. Our County Executive Ike Leggett proposed several years ago adding a tax on gasoline of 10 cents per gallon to fund Metro and other transit improvements. Do you think this is a viable proposal or what is your alternative to provide dedicated funding for transit?
Rich Madaleno: We need a dedicated source of funding for Metro. I led the efforts to create a long-term revenue solution for transportation and to restrict those tax revenues for only transportation expenditures. We must work with our neighbors in Virginia and the District of Columbia to agree on a dedicated source of funds to support the Metro system, a critical component of the transportation network. Quite frankly, our current tax structure provides more than enough for Metro. We need the political will to direct it to the system.
5. With Western Maryland seeing a decline in coal mining and other fossil fuel industries, what economic development do you see as viable for that area?
Rich Madaleno: Across our state we must build strong partnerships between employers and our educational institutions so that we can provide the trained, skilled workers that our businesses need. I proposed and continue to fight for career and technical education programs and for tax credits for businesses that grow jobs in our state. Western Maryland, with its beauty and precious natural resources, is an excellent location for businesses as well as tourism. Wind energy, for example, is a business well-suited to Western Maryland’s natural environment and supply of wind.
6. Maryland has already built one toll road in Montgomery County that is underused. In what circumstances do you think that toll roads and public private partnerships for transportation can be effective?
Rich Madaleno: In building our transportation infrastructure, we need to make sure that we are making sound, fact-based decisions. That’s why I co-sponsored the Open Transportation Decision Act that requires transparent, factual decision-making on where and how Maryland should spend transportation dollars. We should fund projects that relieve traffic congestion and help Marylanders get where they need to go every day -- not projects that are political payback. Each public-private partnership needs to be carefully negotiated and reviewed to make sure that it is accountable and acts in the best interests of Maryland taxpayers and residents. Governor Hogan’s toll lane proposal is an unaffordable political stunt that is designed to provide a path to his re-election and nothing more.
7. The Eastern Shore of Maryland is economically depressed relative to the Baltimore-Washington Corridor. If you are elected Governor, what types of economic development would you promote on the Eastern Shore?
Rich Madaleno: There are several excellent opportunities for economic development on the Eastern Shore. In the near term, the construction of the East Coast’s largest offshore wind energy project off of Ocean City will create thousands of jobs in construction and support services. We need to work aggressively to capture permanent manufacturing jobs associated with offshore wind projects. Salisbury is the perfect location for the manufacture of the various vessels that will be needed to construct and service offshore wind turbines around the world. Capitalizing on the NASA facilities at Wallops Island and the aerospace programs at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, under my leadership, the state will aggressively pursue aerospace and space business opportunities. Most importantly, the state needs to work to ensure the economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture on the Shore. I will work with the agricultural community, Shore residents, banks, environmentalists, and academics to provide farmers with the tools needed to prosper in the 21st Century.
8. What policies do you think are needed to strengthen the safety net for LGBTQ families in Maryland?
Rich Madaleno: I am proud to be a leader in the movement to end discrimination against LGBTQ individuals and families in Maryland. I led the effort which brought the freedom to marry to our state. This groundbreaking measure was supported and affirmed by voters in a statewide referendum. I also led a successful effort to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in public accommodations, housing and employment. While I am proud of the tremendous progress we have made, I will continue to be vigilant to ensure that the safety net is available for those in need, that our healthcare system provides services fairly to all families, and that discrimination or bias does not limit access to services for LGBTQ families. I will focus initially on fixing the birth registry process for the children of same-sex couples and simplify the process for correcting an individual’s gender on legal documents.