Vernon R. Hayes, Jr.
Maryland Senate, District 27
Vernon R. Hayes, Jr.
District: 27th Political Party: Republican Birthplace: Detroit, MI Age: 44 Residence: Clinton, MD Family: Aaron (spouse), age 35. Bud and Carol Hayes (parents), Huntington, WV. My three dogs, all rescue adoptions: Rockefeller (female pug, 10 years old, adopted from Washington Humane Society); Teddy (male pug, 3 years old, adopted from Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue); and Dwight (male beagle, 2 years old, adopted from Heritage Humane Society). Education: Ph.D., public administration, Virginia Tech (1998); M.A., social studies, Marshall University (1995); M.A., political science, Marshall University (1995); B.P.A., public affairs, Wayne State University (1990); homeland security management courses, Towson University and University of Baltimore-University College (1998-current). Professional Experience: Adjunct assistant professor of public administration and policy, American University in Kosovo (June 2010 to present). Government affairs director, Forest Landowners Association (1999-2004). Assistant professor of public administration and policy, University of Alabama-Birmingham (1998-99). Adjunct assistant professor of political science, New River Community College (1997). Campaign consultant, Missouri State Treasurer Wendell Bailey (1990-91). Township Cashier, Project 1990 director, and Deputy Chief Enumerator of special 1987 census, Shelby Township, MI (1987-89). Community Experience: Volunteer, Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue. Republican Central Committee (District 27A), elected 2002. Republican nominee, WV Secretary of State, 1996. Cabell County Republican Executive Committee (District 5), elected 1994. Republican precinct delegate, Macomb County, MI, elected 1986, reelected 1988. Key Issues: Balancing the state budget with no tax increases; mandating a minimum level of education spending in the classroom; advocating for a constitutional convention. Campaign website: www.VoteVern.com Campaign email: Vern@VoteVern.com Campaign phone number: (240) 244-9610
Q. What are your top three priorities for the next four years, if elected? My highest priority is to return stability to the state budget, through appropriate spending cuts and rejecting tax increases. A second priority is to examine the possibility of a state constitutional amendment to mandate a minimum percentage of school spending be actually spent in the classroom, similar to those in other jurisdictions. Another priority is to advocate a constitutional convention in order to streamline government operations, including those expanding true home rule to localities, limiting tax increases, and bringing initiative, referendum, and recall to Maryland voters.
Q. How would you assess the handling of the state budget over the last four years?
The state's management of the budget has been incompetent at best. Despite obvious signs that revenues would decline because of negative economic conditions as early as 2006, some programs continued to receive spending increases. Moreover, taxes were increased, despite the pain they would impose on votersparticularly the sales tax increase, which is one of the most regressive taxes in existence, falling heaviest on the poor and elderly. Furthermore, state leaders have resorted to unconstitutional tricks to balance the budget, such as "relying" on nearly $400 million in "expected" federal revenues that have never been approved by Congress.
Q. Should the state shift some or all teacher pensions to counties? Explain.
The pension costs should eventually be shared equally between the counties and state. By making counties responsible for the costs, it will force them to be more judicious in their hiring practicesobviously, municipalities have less of an incentive to control employee costs when some of the costs are paid by other governmental units.
Q. Should the Maryland General Assembly legalize medical marijuana to be sold at state-run dispensaries?
The decision on whether to legalize any form of marijuana should be made by the voters of the state in a referendum. If legalized, the state should not engage in selling and/or distributing marijuana; just as with alcohol, it should be left to the private market.
Q. Should Maryland recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states? Do you support the legalization of same-sex marriages in Maryland?
I support recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states. I support the legalization of same-sex marriages in Maryland.
Q. Would you support the expansion of gambling to include table games?
I personally oppose the expansion of gambling to include table games. However, I would be willing to submit the question to the voters in a statewide referendum.
Q. Is state funding for schools too much, about right or too little? If too little, where would you find additional money?
State funding for schools is at an appropriate level. While I personally believe most, if not all costs, should be borne by individual municipalities and the wishes of the voters within that jurisdiction, I understand that constitutional requirements for equalization of school funding (which has caused funding crises in other states) requires a combination of state and local funding.
Q. What, if anything, would you do to address foreclosures in Prince George's County?
The issue of foreclosures is not a state issue. Therefore, I do not advocate any plan for the state to become involved in such an issue.
Q. Is District 27 prepared for the impact of BRAC? How would you address challenges, if any?
The BRAC impact on the 27th is currently not on the level of that being experienced in Montgomery County, particularly as only 400 positions are directly related to BRAC at
Andrews. However, as the 2,700 additional positions are added at Andrews, and these positions fuel expected economic growth of an additional 14,000 jobs by 2020 (mostly in the Westphalia area), the state and county will have to make sure that the county's infrastructure expands at a reasonable rate to handle the additional stresses.
Q. What are your thoughts on economic and residential development in District 27? How would you address any challenges?
The greatest challenge facing economic growth in the area is the same problem facing businesses throughout the state and nation: How will government decisions, particularly those relating to taxation, increase (or decrease) the costs of expansion and/or increasing employment? Businesses are highly reluctant to expand or hire more people, when they cannot accurately forecast potential increased costs. Will legislative leaders and the governor decide to stabilize the budget through tax increases or spending cuts? Will the health care mandates make hiring new employees prohibitively expensive? Will additional regulations, such as those regarding the Chesapeake Bay, increase operating expenses? My main goal will be to reassure businesses and Maryland residentsthat the state will stabilize the budget through spending cuts, and not increase either the business or individual tax burden.
Q. What are your thoughts on the agriculture industry in District 27? How would you address challenges, if any?
The greatest threat to the agriculture industry is the EPA's push to regulate non-point sources of pollution the same as point sources, and impose Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) regulations. Under current law, however, the EPA does not have the statutory authority to regulate these non-point sources. The state should resist EPA efforts to illegally regulate these pollution sources, and protect the agriculture industry from these potentially devastating costs.
Q. The EPA has pledged to enforce penalties on states that don't meet Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals. What are your thoughts on bay efforts, and how would you address challenges, if any?
Obviously, the state should attempt to comply with all current federal regulations and laws. However, in a period of economic instability and fluctuating tax revenues, government should not inhibit potential growth through more restrictive regulation. If forced to make a choice between keeping police officers on the street or increasing the number of oysters in the bay, I will pick police officers every time.
Q. What is your top transportation priority? Please identify only one project.
The top transportation priority should be continuing to increase the driving capacity on Branch Avenue/Route 5 and Route 301.