Feldman aims to secure state Senate seat this year -- Gazette.Net


After 11 years as District 15 delegate, Brian J. Feldman was appointed to represent the district in the Senate last year.

In the 2014 elections, Feldman, of Potomac, seeks to keep his Senate seat. He wants to continue his work bolstering the biotechnology and cybersecurity sectors in the state and reviewing the tax code.

Feldman, a Democrat, filled the seat vacated by Robert J. Garagiola, who resigned last September to spend more time with his children.

A practicing tax attorney, Feldman said the Maryland tax code needs an in-depth review to “overall modernize and revamp our tax code to make us competitive.” He said it would be the first major review since 1987 and is critical to attracting business and strengthening Maryland’s economy.

This year, he introduced legislation to set up a review commission. The bill did not pass, but he plans to continue pushing.

“Our tax structure in Maryland is very outdated,” he said.

Feldman also has focused on building and supporting the biotechnology and cybersecurity industries in the state, which are concentrated in Montgomery County.

“I think it’s the ticket to tremendous things down the road,” he said.

He worked to create a 50 percent state income tax break for biotech companies to attract them to the area. To get more from the growing industry, Feldman wants to help companies figure out how to commercialize the work they’re doing.

Though research money is pouring into Montgomery County, Feldman said, there’s much more than can be done to turn research into products, generating jobs and tax revenue.

He’s been working with companies to help them figure out how to do that — for example, creating security software from cybersecurity research.

Based on data from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Association of University Technology Managers, Gov. Martin O’Malley said in 2012 that Maryland universities rank first in federal research money per capita, but 37th in turning that research into commercial products and jobs.

As a member of the Finance Committee, Feldman has helped oversee the establishment of Maryland’s health care exchange and the minimum wage bill that passed this year, raising the state minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2018.

He also helped pass legislation requiring reliability standards for Maryland utilities in 2011. Reliability has improved significantly since then, he said.

Feldman teaches state policy making at Johns Hopkins University.

He faces no opponents in the primary election on June 24, but will take on Republican challenger Robin Ficker of Boyds in the general election on Nov. 4. District 15 stretches along the western edge of the county, from Clarksburg through Germantown and Potomac to parts of Bethesda.