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|Former candidate for|
|Maryland House of Delegates, District 23B|
Watson's website highlighted the following campaign themes:
|“||1. Educational Priority
A strong educational system is the linchpin to improving the economy, restoring home values, and breaking once and for all, the school-to-prison-pipeline.
Currently, it costs about $13,000 to educate a child, and about $16,000 to incarcerate…….it is clear where our investment should be.
ISSUE: Our current legislators in 23B have failed to fight for Prince George’s County’s “fair share” of state aid. We have lost approx $100M over the last several years because of the failure to act.
SITUATION: State funding is allocated using an “inverse wealth” formula. Simply stated, the state takes the “net income” of all residents and determines the “relative wealth” of each county. Wealthier counties get more, poorer counties get less. In 2007 the federal filing deadline changed from Aug 1st to Oct 15th. Unfortunately, the state did not change the date by which they do their wealth assessment. Since wealthier folks and business tend to file late, a large portion of income is NOT accounted for. The Impact: Prince George’s County looks wealthier than it actually is, and Montgomery County looks poorer than it actually is.
REMEDY: If our legislators would act, Prince George’s County would net an additional $13M per year in state educational aid, and Montgomery County would lose approx $25M per year. I represented our county against all other Boards of Education in 2007 when this issue first appeared but there were no legislators willing to take on the fight. We were told it would be addressed in 2008.
IRONY: Collectively, the 2 incumbents have been in Annapolis for 52 years. This has been an issue for 7 years and again we were told at the end of the last legislative session that it will be addressed next year. Meanwhile, we receive postcards in the mail touting how much state funding has been “brought home”, while we cannot afford to bring back parent liaisons, teachers are still purchasing their own classroom supplies, and we continue to have a $2B backlog of facilities that need repair. It’s time for a change…..Vote Ron Watson.
2. Prince George’s County 2nd from the Bottom?
This change in demographics continues to impact the “At-Risk” population of our school district. Currently, PGCPS has the largest percentage of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students, 3rd larger population of students on “Free and Reduced-price Meals”, and the 6th largest population of Special Education Students.
All tolled, Prince George’s has the 3rd largest population of “At-Risk” students. That being said, NOW lets see why we are “at the bottom”……..
SUMMARY: We have a higher At-Risk student population, but schools districts with “less challenges” are receiving much more. We must have legislators who are willing to fight for the funding we need to properly educate our children and if our residents are serious about changing this trend, we must have new ways of solving these old problems. Our current legislators in 23B have had 52 years to solve the problem identified above. Do we really want to continue to hide the underlying problem and keep electing the same folks? Make the difference……Vote Ron Watson.
SOURCE: Overview of Local Maryland Governments 2014
2. Legalizing Marijuana?
We must consider the impacts of marijuana on our medical professionals (doctors, dentist, etc) and how usage must be restricted for specific occupations. Those who operate heavy machinery and well as those whose job is to protect local and national security. We must stop sacrificing “Long-Term-Pain” for “Short-Term-Gain”.
3. What would be one of you first priorities if elected?
4. When money is tight, school funding is always impacted? What can you do to protect school funding if we are not getting the business growth we need. By facilitating “out of the box” thinking on alternative revenue streams. While a member of the Board of Education, and facing back-to-back years of decreased funding, I floated the idea of generating revenue by allowing advertisements on school buses. My thoughts were that advertisements are in every metro bus, every subway station, and every train. By allowing this, millions of dollars in “alternative revenue” could be raised. Unfortunately, because of the current laws, our school system can only derive its funding from federal, state, and county sources.
Here is the potential: The House staff analysis says in Colorado, one of the states that allow exterior advertising, only 10 districts have chosen to put commercial messages on their buses. It’s estimated they raise $5,000 to $10,000 per bus annually. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/23/florida-lawmakers-considering-allowing-school-bus-advertisements/
PGCPS has a school bus fleet of 1,250 buses. Based on the conservative number above this equates to $6,250,000. Yes, there would have to be restrictions on the advertising for alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, prescription drugs, political ads, and material that’s inappropriate, offensive or insensitive to children or the community, but a little thinking “outside of the box” could go a long way.
I proposed this in 2007 as a means to mitigate school funding reductions caused by the lack of action on the part of our legislators in District 23B to ensure our county got its “fair share”. I will push for our school system to have the flexibility to generate additional sources of revenue.
5. What changes, if any, would you make to Maryland’s tax structure?
6. What should the state’s transportation priorities be?
7. What is the most pressing environmental issue in Maryland?
Elections for the office of Maryland House of Delegates will take place in 2014. A primary election took place June 24, 2014. The general election will be held on November 4, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was February 25, 2014. Incumbents Joseph F. Vallario, Jr. and Marvin E. Holmes, Jr. defeated Reginald Tyer, Jr., Ron Watson and Thea Wilson in the Democratic primary, while Mike Hethmon was unopposed in the Republican primary. Vallario, Holmes and Hethmon face off for two seats in the general election. Robin Breedon (I) was excluded from the ballot for not meeting petition requirements.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Ron + Watson + Maryland + House"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Maryland House of Delegates
- Maryland House of Delegates District 23B
- Maryland House of Delegates elections, 2014
- Maryland State Legislature
- Official campaign website
- Ron Watson on Facebook
- Biography from Project Vote Smart
- Maryland Secretary of State - Official candidate list
- Maryland State Board of Elections, "2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election State Candidates List - House of Delegates," accessed May 9, 2014
- Vote for Ron Watson, "Issues," accessed June 16, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Maryland Secretary of State, "Official primary election candidate list," accessed March 3, 2014
- Maryland State Board of Elections, "Unofficial Results for the 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election," accessed June 25, 2014
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