Candidate Survey: Mary Beth Carozza for State Senate, District 38
Mary Beth Carozza
Office Sought and District
State Senate, District 38
The Catholic University of America, B.A./M.A., Political Philosophy/American Government
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State Delegate, District 38C; Deputy Chief of Staff, Governor Robert Ehrlich; Press Secretary, Senator William Cohen; Chief of Staff to Congressman Mike Dewine; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for House Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
Why are you running for office?
I am running for State Senate to be in a stronger position to serve the people in Worcester, Wicomico, and Somerset counties, and to build on the accomplishments of the last four years under Governor Hogan’s leadership. I grew up working in my family’s small business. As a result, I understand the challenges facing our local communities including the need to grow job opportunities so our young people not only receive a quality, career-ready education but can secure productive jobs and raise their families here on the Shore. With voters from Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties urging me to run for the State Senate, I am uplifted by the strong support from small business, farm families, the fishing industry, seniors, health providers, veterans, public safety officials, and students, educators, and other school personnel across District 38. As a State Senator, I would be in a stronger position to do more for my constituents and be a stronger partner to Governor Larry Hogan to make lasting change in Maryland.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Ronald Reagan. Attending college in Washington, D.C when Ronald Reagan was President, I was inspired by President Reagan’s strong, conservative leadership. He offered a clear contrast to the failed policies of Jimmy Carter. President Reagan not only reestablished America’s role as a global leader but ushered in the most robust economic recovery since World War II. His warmth, wisdom and leadership gave hope to a new generation of Republican leadership and inspired me to pursue a career of public service.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Rumsfeld’s Rules by Donald Rumsfeld.
What will be your top priority in the General Assembly?
Staying economically competitive, growing jobs, and improving the quality of life on the Shore. A solid economy and job growth supported by strong local school systems focused on preparing students for careers and joining a skilled workforce have been my priorities as as State Delegate and areas that I will continue to focus on in the State Senate. I will continue to support tax relief for retirees and small businesses, and accountability and transparency when it comes to Maryland’s budget and state spending.
What is the biggest issue facing your district?
To keep our families, small businesses, and retirees here on the Shore rather than moving out of state or to the Western Shore, we must continue to work on fair tax, fiscal and regulatory policies that improve and protect our Shore way of life.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland?
High taxes and government regulation, the opioid epidemic, and career readiness
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
I am pro-life. I have testified against proposed legislation that would legalize physician-assisted suicide and cosponsored legislation to protect the unborn.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
I believe we need to hold the line on spending and lower taxes to ensure that Maryland is a good place to start a family and retire. Government growth must never out pace its citizen’s ability to pay for it.
What is your position on gun rights?
I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and a member of the National Rifle Association. I am opposed to any legislation that limits an individual’s Second Amendment rights. I will also work to make Maryland a “Shall Issue” state.
What is your position on education?
I am an advocate for school choice and have voted in favor of adding $6 million for the Nonpublic Student Textbook Program and $7.6 million for the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today program. I also support giving those who homeschool a tax break so that they may deduct an amount on their income tax equal to the average cost that maryland pays to educate an individual student in the public school system. I strongly support increasing accountability of our public education and school constructions dollars and strongly opposed the 21st Century School Commission bill which removed all oversight authority from the Board of Public Works over school construction funding.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?
I am opposed to the legalization of recreational marijuana. In the midst of a heroin-opioid epidemic, marijuana can lead as a gateway drug to more potent forms of drugs. I have arrived at this decision after consulting with law enforcement, health officials and local families.
I also am strongly opposed to Senate Bill 288 which makes it legal for a community-based organization to establish a supervised drug consumption facility, including mobile units, at the expense of taxpayers. I have heard from numerous constituents who are outraged by this legislative proposal, especially during this heroin-opioid crisis. SB 288 was cosponsored by the current State Senator from District 38. I will continue to strongly oppose this bill and would use my position in the State Senate to stop it from moving forward.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol?
The three- tiered system is a prohibition era decision whose time has passed. Local vineyards and craft breweries are a relatively recent phenomenon. They are significant contributors to our State’s economy and should be allowed to market and sell their own products without going through the archaic system that currently restricts their business growth.
Legislators can receive $101 per day for lodging and $47 per day for meals during the 90-day General Assembly session. If elected, do you plan to accept these benefits? Why or why not?
I live in Ocean City, so I would accept the lodging. I have reduced my per diem meal money to $20 a day during the 2018 Session.
There is a culture of depravity and sexual harassment prevalent in the Maryland General Assembly. As a legislator, how will you work to end this culture of depravity and to ensure that those who commit these acts are removed from the General Assembly?
I have cosponsored legislation that would change the way sexual harassment cases in the Maryland General Assembly are handled. I would speak out against any known depravity and known perpetrators. I would also strongly support that the names of those who have been found guilty of any such offense be released to the public. Additionally I believe that any subsequent fines and or settlements be paid by the individual offender and not the citizens of Maryland.