Beyond the state’s duty to make economic investments, Marylanders have entrusted their government with profound social responsibilities. Parents count on the state to provide a good education for their kids, setting them up to succeed. Residents rely on the state to administer justice fairly and evenly, keeping communities safe without condemning a whole generation of young men to a cycle of incarceration and poverty. Families rely on the state to prevent exclusionary zoning and skyrocketing rents and home prices, evidence of a housing market broken by poor government decision-making.
Just as with the economy, Maryland’s status quo has benefited a handful of residents and neglected everyone else. But Maryland’s neglect of its social responsibilities is especially frustrating because of the many simple steps available to policymakers to improve peoples’ lives. Tim believes we should put school-funding first and reform the education funding formula to be more equitable to provide more students with educational opportunity. If Maryland brought marijuana out of the black market, taxing and regulating it as eighteen other states have, then countless people of color would be spared another entry point into the criminal justice system, all while generating more funding for schools. If the state took basic steps to increase the housing supply and ease zoning exclusions, then affordable rent and even home ownership would become a possibility for hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who are cost burdened by their homes.
On these issues, Marylanders are once again desperately in need of a public voice holding officials accountable to the best use of their tax dollars.Fully Fund Education
- Maryland has no greater governmental responsibility than providing a great education to the state’s children. Despite living in the richest state in the richest nation on earth, far too many children in Maryland attend public schools that are freezing in the cold months, sweltering in the warm months, and literally crumbling due to age and inadequate maintenance. Far too many of these schools are located in economically disadvantaged, predominantly minority communities. Accordingly, Tim intends to make education his top priority. As Comptroller, Tim will be a tireless advocate for organizing state revenues and spending around the core goal of helping Maryland’s kids succeed, and a fierce watchdog against insufficient school funding.
- Tim will initiate a semiannual school funding audit. The audit will evaluate state tax law and collections for loopholes, inefficiencies, and compliance to determine how the state could increase revenues for education funding. Additionally, the audit would evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of state education spending.
- Following each audit, the Office of the Comptroller will publish legislative recommendations for tax and spending changes. Tim will use the recommendations to aggressively advocate for school funding changes that offer educational opportunities for every child in Maryland.
- A 2018 law, stemming from a political dispute, took oversight of Maryland’s Public School Construction Program away from the Board of Public Works and gave it to an obscure bureaucratic agency that is not accountable to the public. Tim has publicly called upon Maryland’s legislative leaders to restore that oversight to the Board of Public Works so that all students can have a chance to learn in safe, healthy classrooms.
- Tim believes that the financial burdens placed on students and families seeking to access a college education is a moral and fiscal crisis. As a Mayor and businessman, Tim also knows that a lack of access to higher education hurts our economy, increases income inequality and further prevents more minority families from obtaining generational wealth. As a member of the Board of Directors of the College Savings Plans of Maryland, Tim will lead – through new financial incentives and better marketing, public outreach and education - a renewed statewide effort to enroll EVERY Maryland family with children in both the Prepaid College Trust and the College Investment Plan.
- Tim is the only candidate for Comptroller to have graduated from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and has maintained a consistent and deep commitment to the success of HBCUs. As the past Chairman of the Bowie State University Foundation and as a strong national advocate for HBCUs, Tim will advocate for budgetary priorities that provide Maryland’s HBCUs the resources they need to prepare graduates for success in the Information Age, and to power Maryland’s economy through groundbreaking research and partnerships with the private sector. As a member of the Board of Public Works, he will work to ensure that these resources are being spent wisely and that HBCUs have equal and equitable access to the resources they need to thrive.
Legalize, Tax and Regulate Adult-Use Marijuana
- Recognizing that our current federal and state policies are an outdated relic of a failed, counterproductive war on drugs, Tim has publicly endorsed the legalization of recreational marijuana in Maryland. This will allow the state to generate significant tax revenue that will be reinvested in essential priorities, regulate these products to ensure their safety and integrity, and educate consumers about these products and their risks.
- Tim will advocate strongly for the legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana, a critical step in dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline that has devastated black and brown neighborhoods in Maryland.
- To put new pressure on the legislature to act, as well as to gather critical facts and data for legislators and the public, Tim will direct the Office of the Comptroller to author a comprehensive adult-use Marijuana report that evaluates how different approaches to regulation and taxation could increase state revenues, reduce financial burdens on state prisons and law enforcement, and provide funding to disadvantaged public schools.
Improve Police-Community Relations
- As a Mayor, Tim works closely with law enforcement to improve police-community relations and ensure the resources are available to fight crime. He comes from a family of law enforcement and believes in the ability of our police to prevent and deter crime while maintaining the trust of the communities they serve. The Comptroller’s office can play a role in helping to ensure operational efficiency and sound fiscal management of our public safety dollars. As Comptroller, Tim would seek to partner with state and local law enforcement agencies to enhance performance reviews, reform practices that result in taxpayer waste and erode community trust, and shine a spotlight on methods of community policing that not only keep us safe, but also allow for wise investment in crime prevention.
Safe and Affordable Housing For All
- Tim will use his seat on the Maryland BPW to push for additional state investment in the production and rehabilitation of affordable housing for middle class and low-income Marylanders.
- Tim will also call for a program incentivizing Maryland’s cities to ease zoning restrictions to allow Multi-Unit Dwellings and Accessory Dwelling Units in single-family neighborhoods, promoting “gentle density” that creates affordable housing options while preserving the character of neighborhoods. These kinds of changes would vastly increase the supply of housing for middle-class Marylanders while slowing the upward climb of the cost of single-family homes.
Connecting Maryland with Modern Transportation
- Tim will use his vote on the Board of Public Works to prioritizeWorks prioritize funding for vastly enhanced commuter and light rail service for Marylanders.
- Congress’ 2021 infrastructure law is providing Maryland a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finally modernize the state’s transportation infrastructure. Tim will work to connect every corner of Maryland, from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore, to the Baltimore and DC region via new MARC routes and increase service between DC and Baltimore
- Additionally, Tim will work to expand Baltimore’s light rail service, including by finally building the long-overdue redline to connect all of Baltimore’s communities to economic opportunity.
- By making it possible to commute without a car, Maryland can reduce pollution and traffic congestion, and expand job possibilities for rural Marylanders and disadvantaged communities. In addition, the expansion of hybrid-work models paired with new transportation options will make it easier for businesses to recruit high-skilled workers across the state.
Combat Climate Change, Protect Our Environment and Build A Strong Blue Economy
- Tim will use the legal and constitutional authority vested in his office to be a leader in Maryland’s fight against climate change. As the “swing” vote on the Board of Public Works, which approves wetlands permits that are necessary for private development, Tim will strongly oppose permit applications that will inflict damage upon ecologically sensitive lands, put the Chesapeake Bay’s critical area at risk and incentivize higher fossil fuel consumption.
- Tim will work to unlock Maryland’s energy potential by making the necessary capital investments to expand offshore wind production in eastern Maryland while conserving the coastline’s viewshed and natural resources. These investments would include energy and transportation infrastructure to make far-offshore turbine placement feasible, and workforce development programs and facilities to train a generation of high-skilled energy workers.
- Tim will call for a comprehensive review of the process used by the State of Maryland to evaluate Program Open Space applications, in order to ensure that these limited dollars are truly being invested in the protection of ecologically sensitive lands and those highly vulnerable to development.
- Tim will also work with the legislature and vote on the BPW for capital investments that help enhance and sustain Maryland’s precious water resources, positioning the state to be a player in the Blue Economy and conserving Maryland’s natural beauty and cultural heritage for residents and tourists alike.