Issues We Face

CHAMPION WHAT MATTERS

Learn more about Helene Meister and her vision for Maryland LD 17. Here you will find all the information you need surrounding the political concerns Helene Meister is addressing, as well as key policies that Helene Meister fights to uphold. As our society is ever-changing, so are political issues and the need to amend governmental policies. Stay tuned here.

Education

FOR A BETTER FUTURE

  •  Montgomery County schools were reputed among the best in the nation, yet we have all noticed that they are no longer providing the quality and excellence of the past

The Department of education has released that, based on tests given in September 2021,  just 35% of students in 3rd through 8th-grade statewide met expectations for English compared to 43.7% before the pandemic. For Math, just 15% met expectations compared to 33% in 2018

  • School revenues should also properly channel funds to programs maintaining adequate literacy levels and providing help to children with learning difficulties and special needs instead of ever expanding class sizes and wasting revenues on non essential programs

  • Currently, there is a teacher shortage in MCPS. In order, to incentivize teachers, MCPS need to pay teachers adequately so they are compensated fairly for their skills

  • Reduce the amount of time spent on tests, teach the substance

  • Finally, Public education is  public good meant to ensure public instruction and political neutrality, not interfering in private spheres of religion or politics. That is how our democracy and freedoms for all are preserved, allowing young generations to be educated and able to think independently for themselves

  • Parental rights are important because ultimately parents make the decisions for their children's education. They have to be listened instead of being pushed aside

  • School resource officers (SROs) should return to schools where needed, especially in larger schools and in neighborhoods that have asked this extra help. Some teachers, students and school personnel have requested the return of SROs. SROs have been removed in Maryland schools since the Fall 2021

  • Check my news section to learn more about recent trends in our schools 

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Economic freedom

HELP OUR SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZE BUSINESSES

Did you know Maryland is ranked among the 10 worst states for business friendliness in the nation (according to studies published by the Tax Foundation)?  

  •  Helene wants to work on bringing solutions to this issue, as it is one that impacts so many local businesses striving to survive economically after two very difficult pandemic years. Small businesses are the backbone of our community they provide jobs and economic health to our county and district. However they were hard-hit by mandates and covid closures and they are still recovering. Helene wants to help their recovery by limiting government regulations and lowering their taxes. 

Helene proposes  to:

  • lower taxes of pass through entities and individual businesses by granting a 20% deduction on their state income  just like it is allowed on the federal tax return

  • allow a tax credit for job creation and ease conditions to qualify for this tax credit

  • streamline processes to obtain licenses and permits

Quality of Life

LOWER TAXES, LOWER LIVING COSTS

  • Maryland living costs are very high and worsened by ramping inflation rates, high housing costs and ever increasing taxes. In 2020, Maryland was among the top 10 states people left from with 55% moving outbound and the trend is not clearly reversing

  • Maryland also ranks 7th out of 52 regions on MERIC's cost-of-living index

Instead of mitigating costs for residents, the local government, year after year, has been increasing taxes.

  • Helene wants to lower the cost of life for residents by lowering sales tax, lowering income tax and expanding the gas tax holiday to further help residents to adjust their finances to the worst inflation year on record

  • A recent bill passed in the Maryland state assembly increased local income tax (HB 319) and increased marylanders' utility costs (HB174)

  • Property taxes also increased with tax reassessment operated in the worst inflation year

Finally, Since around half the People leaving Maryland are above 55, a new tax credit was put in place to provide relief to retired individuals but the credit is capped and it might not be enough to keep retirees from leaving the state

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Issues We Face

CHAMPION WHAT MATTERS

 
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The Environment

THE STAKES ARE HIGH

Helene Meister is proud to support changes for cleaner air and transition to clean energy but taking into account the needs of residents and pragmatic solutions that would include common sense approach and consultation or dialogue with partners.


One thing to consider is that clean energy sources are rapidly evolving  and could include hydrogen and nuclear powered energy.


A particular concern is the nitrogen and chemical contaminants (like mercury) of the Chesapeake region. Maryland has to keep doing its part, but also needs to induce other partners such as PA, VA, NJ, West VA to step up and do more to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Helene will fight against any effort to divert funds from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation