Red Maryland Pre-Session Survey: Kathy Afzali
What is your top legislative priority for the 2018 General Assembly Session?
Mostly, I am focusing on local Frederick County issues that the legislature will need to weigh in on. We have had much controversy locally over private property rights and the Monocacy River. Many land owners are concerned with the possibility of a future land grab by the county. I will have a local bill that will assure the state’s original intent for local Frederick and Carroll County river boards, making certain that future appointments to the board are not tilted to favor one group over another. Balance is key.
I will be offering a statewide bill regarding farm annexations into municipalities. Currently the county has little say in these annexations. The Frederick County growth on steroids that was led by the former Blaine/Kirby board is being multiplied by municipal annexations that are taxing county recourses. I intend to address this with the bill.
What are some of your other legislative priorities for the 2018 General Assembly Session?
As the ranking Republican on Ways and Means, it will be my job to try to get Governor Hogan’s agenda through my committee. This is not an easy task given election year positioning.
What concerns you the most about the 2018 General Assembly Session?
That I finish well. This will be my last legislative session. I have felt so honored to serve. I want to sprint to the finish line.
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What are your budget priorities for the 2018 General Assembly Session?
My priorities, as always, will be funding for my community. That means schools, roads, opioid addiction, and everything else. Governor Hogan is the first Gov in a long time to pay attention to the “rest of the state.”
What are your local projects or bills of local interest will you be introducing or supporting during the 2018 General Assembly Session?
What are your thoughts on Governor Hogan’s paid sick leave proposal?
Better than the Dem’s version. I’m not happy with government sticking it’s nose into business and putting itself between an employer and employee. That said, the Gov is trying to make a bad bill better. Dems will NOT compromise! They will use this as election fodder to say Republicans hate the working class. Too bad because their bill, I believe, will hurt the people they claim to care for. Same script, different year.
What did you do on behalf of or in support of Republican candidates or the Republican Party in 2017?
I have been busy since my first election raising money and trying to recruit good candidates. It’s so hard. It’s hard to convince good people to serve, especially women. They see how I’ve been worked over by my local party and the liberal media and they don’t want to put their families through that.
As some know in my younger/more agile years, I used to be a dancer/performer on Broadway. I thought my knowledge in back-stabbing was perfect prep work for political life. Yikes, that was truly the minor leagues compared to Frederick County!
What has been your biggest accomplishment as a legislator in the first three years of this term?
- Anayah’s Law- Protects children from abusive parents. If I have saved one child than this has all been worth it
- Lyme disease-Huge paradigm shift for disclosures to patients who may have Lyme
- Estate Taxes- We will recouple with the feds in 2019. O’Malley took the credit but it was largely my efforts.
- FC Delegation Chair-Under my leadership we passed more local bills and brought back more money than anytime in FC history.
- Communications-When I first got elected I promised to inform my constituents regarding what was happening in Annapolis. I was one of the first legislators to establish a Constant Contact account and inform folks about different bills and efforts in Annapolis. Now almost all of the legislators do it. I have nearly 10,000 locals on my newsletter.
If you are running for re-election or for another office, why should your constituents continue to support you?
I think the reason I get so much support from the voters is because they know I’m in this for the right reasons. I don’t need this to be my job. Honestly, I’m at an age that I should be sitting on my rocker catching up on my reading. I am passionate about my community and making a positive difference. I want to serve as long as God and my community want me.