Why I’m Running for Office in 2018
By Laurie Halverson, Candidate for State Delegate, LD-15
The reason I decided to run for office this year is that Maryland needs more elected Republicans who will support families and the kinds of popular issues that Governor Hogan is proposing.
My experience of successfully working with people – including elected officials - across the county has prepared me for the important work of representing my district. I have been a community leader in Montgomery County for more than 15 years and also have experience at the state level as a former member of the Maryland State Board of Education.
Since education represents one third of the state budget, it is important to have representatives who are in tune with education policies. Besides my education background, my career experience as a senior benefits analyst and human resources generalist has given me a well rounded foundation of knowledge regarding other areas of the Maryland budget.
My analytical skills and benefits background would be of value to our state. Also, my experience as a problem solver who is accustomed to working primarily with Democrats will help me to become a bridge between the two parties. In addition, Governor Hogan needs an ally in Montgomery County who will support his popular initiatives.
Education: Safety comes first, so all schools should be analyzed and equipped with appropriate safety measures. We want all children to feel that their school is a safe and nurturing environment. Portable classrooms are sitting ducks, so we need to minimize the number of portable classrooms or think more creatively to ensure that students are safe within the walls of brick and mortar buildings. Finding funds to help with increasing the pace of capital projects is a priority.
Also, our state needs more accountability and high standards for all students. It is unacceptable that Maryland has five high schools and one middle school where not one student scored at the proficient level in Math or English.
To raise the level of accountability, Maryland needs an inspector general who will monitor school systems, hold leaders accountable, and prevent fraudulent activities. While Democrat candidates support universal Pre-K in their platforms, this is a short sighted goal. If implemented, funding would be spread thin and not reach our most vulnerable children. Instead, I want to focus funds on expanding QUALITY Pre-K to families that need it most.
Another concern is that Maryland is missing out on opportunities for federal grant funding because of our weak state charter school laws, To remedy this situation, I would sponsor a bill to improve these laws to take advantage of the grants and provide families with access to more innovative schools where achievement is expected for all, not just a possibility for some. Since our standardized tests may not be the best option available, I would support a study to analyze some potentially better tests. These are just a few of my many ideas on education.
Transportation: I am a supporter of Governor Hogan’s Traffic Relief Plan. While you will hear Democrats shoo away the idea of road projects, I embrace this idea. I believe we can still move forward on mass transit and BRT plans, but in a responsible way that allows our state to address immediate needs.
If I-495 and I-270 are expanded with optional toll roads, it will help relieve the current congestion. We can also look at smarter ways of regulating traffic by using recent technological advances. In the Clarksburg area, there has been a master plan in place for many years that involves extending the mid-county corridor, or M83. This is a long overdue project and I would do what I can to move it forward.
Health: Students can’t learn and adults can’t work to their full potential if they aren’t healthy. Health insurance must be affordable and threats to our health in Maryland must be faced and not swept under the rug. Opioid addiction is something we need to fiercely tackle. Since there were 2,089 opioid and alcohol related deaths in Maryland during 2016, it has become a serious threat to our communities. So what can we do? In the area of health care, we can enable states to compete with each other for health insurance plans.
Also, if our elected officials promote policies that are more business friendly, we will be able to attract firms to the area that would bolster Maryland’s reputation as a national leader in the biohealth/ bioscience industry. Regarding the opioid crisis, there are some evidence-based programs that have promise, and our state should develop more effective educational programs that emphasize prevention. My background in health care as a senior benefits analyst, my two years’ experience as a Health/ Safety Chair of MCCPTA, and my current experience as a Montgomery County Board of Licenses Commissioner will be helpful when working on health care issues.
Although the Democrat-controlled delegation in Montgomery County has the ability to routinely override our governor’s vetoes, Governor Hogan deserves more support. I want to be on the team in Annapolis to vote for Governor Hogan’s policies, because I believe he has the right vision for Maryland. As a trusted member of your community with proven results, I ask for your vote in June and November.
Facebook: Laurie Halverson for Delegate, District 15