A prosperous and strong economy is good for everyone. It will also allow us to make the investments we need in schools, infrastructure, the environment, and to assist those less fortunate. Marc believes that the keys to the County’s economic success are maintaining great schools and improving the transportation network.
Montgomery County’s brand is education. Marc knows it is why many people and businesses locate here. To maintain our success, we need to support our schools. Read more here.
A functioning transportation network is also necessary for our economy to prosper. More than that, much of the County’s future economic growth is tied to transportation. Metro’s Red Line is the double economic spine of Montgomery County. Read more here.
Maryland is home to many important federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and National Institute of Standards and Technology. The County also has many fine institutions of higher education including Montgomery College, The Universities at Shady Grove, and the Rockville campus of Johns Hopkins University. Marc knows the state must work harder to get important research out of these institutions and into the marketplace through technology transfer programs. The state must also support private sector research through programs such as the biotechnology tax credit and other policies focused on economic opportunities that play to the state’s strengths. For example, Marc has led the way in increasing the use of energy storage—a vital part of the green economy that uses batteries or other types of storage to support renewable energy deployment—in our state by working to obtain federal research funding and promoting state policies in support of energy storage.
Marc believes the state’s attitude towards jobs must also change. When a business decides to locate in the state, they must be welcomed with open arms. Most of these businesses are not large corporations seeking tax incentives or access to international airports. They are small businesses just starting out that have great potential. The state should assist them in working through the red tape associated with starting a new business. Marc supported legislation to create the state Department of Commerce to make that dream a reality.
There are other actions we can take to grow our economy and support working families.
Maryland's minimum wage should be increased and, as in ten other states, tied to inflation. That will allow the minimum wage to automatically rise as the cost of living does and it is not left for politicians to wrangle over. If we enter a period of deflation, the minimum wage should be held steady and not decline. Maryland increased its minimum wage in 2014, phasing in a $10.10 wage by 2018. This is a good start but further action must be taken. Marc co-sponsored legislation to link the minimum wage to inflation and will continue to fight for it.
We must also expand child care and after school options. Working families need their children to have a safe place to go while they are at work. The Maryland State Department of Education licenses child care providers and centers and we must ensure it is guaranteeing sufficient options and access for all.
By Authority of Friends of Marc Korman; Mark Brown, Treasurer