I am running for Comptroller to help Maryland rise to this moment. As the elected chief financial officer for the state of Maryland, our Comptroller must be a leader who embraces creative ideas and has the courage to put those ideas into action – from big ideas on wealth-building policies to the little details that make it easier for families and businesses to pay taxes and access state programs and benefits. I will work with you – in every community across the state – to hear your concerns, create unique solutions to overcome our challenges, and put the power of the State’s finances behind those solutions to make them happen. I hope you will join me to reimagine what the Comptroller’s office can do to help ensure financially stable families, growing businesses, and thriving communities.
As your Comptroller, I will modernize the way Maryland does business to ensure we are working on your behalf in the most effective way we can be. That means investing in our infrastructure and making sure everyone from small business owners to students to seniors have access to broadband internet. It means using data to make our state systems smarter and easier so that basic services like filing your taxes are as easy as paying for your cell phone bill. I will streamline the state procurement and payment systems so businesses want to do business with the State. As one of only three statewide, independently-elected officials, I will provide strong independent oversight of our state’s financial resources and be an advocate for families, communities, and small businesses. The resources of the Comptroller’s office will be used to lift up and support all those who are trying to build a good life in Maryland, and ensure that we are prepared to safeguard our communities against climate change and other risks for years to come.
Brooke has had thousands of conversations with residents across the state as a community member, Delegate, and candidate for Comptroller to learn what pressing issues are facing Marylanders. Workers, families, and small business owners in communities from Salisbury to Cumberland are facing many of the same challenges.
Throughout this campaign, Brooke has spoken with and convened people with lived experience, community leaders, nonprofits, and policy experts to find thoughtful, achievable solutions for the issues facing Maryland’s communities. The policy proposals you find here are the beginning, not the end. As the campaign progresses, Brooke and the members of the campaign will continue having conversations, learning from constituents and experts, and surfacing solutions and policies. Brooke will continue to learn and convene people to ensure every community in Maryland can thrive. That commitment in leadership is one she will continue as Comptroller.
Maryland’s tax system depends on voluntary compliance, which in turn relies on Maryland residents believing that the system is fair and transparent. As Comptroller, Brooke will work to make sure that Maryland’s tax practices are transparent and seen as fair for both individuals and businesses, and are competitive so as to drive the state’s economy, job growth, and maintain Maryland’s AAA bond rating. Brooke will use her state legislator experience and relationships to work with lawmakers and stakeholders for maintaining appropriate tax practices and policies that serve the needs of our state and its citizens.
Brooke will be an independent watchdog for the effectiveness of tax incentive programs and the recently enacted whistleblower program. Brooke will also bring parties together to explore options for modernizing the state’s income tax code to ensure we have policies that support our families, seniors, and small businesses. Read more about Brooke’s vision to support fair, competitive, and transparent tax administration.>
As Comptroller, Brooke will focus on ensuring that Maryland has a thriving economy with strong job growth. Brooke knows that good economic policy involves thoughtfulness and nuance. A flourishing economy must include strong main street businesses and scalable and growing startups. Maryland should be a state where entrepreneurs can create, grow, and keep their businesses. Their innovation is critical to generating economic growth and great jobs. Compared to many other states, Maryland lacks the investments and tools to support and grow companies at home and too much Maryland talent is drained out of the state. Read about Brooke’s vision for growing businesses and jobs so small businesses, workers, and communities can all thrive. >
The procurement process is absolutely critical to how Maryland’s government works for its residents. It is how the State – and all of its agencies – spends billions of taxpayer dollars every single year to acquire goods and services from private sector businesses. In 2017, Brooke voted to overhaul Maryland’s procurement process, saving Maryland taxpayers $100 million annually. But there is more work to be done. As Comptroller, Brooke will fight wasteful spending and drastically reduce single-bid contracts. As a member of the Board of Public Works, she will make the procurement process more transparent, more streamlined, and more accessible. She will ensure that our homegrown, local small businesses get the fairest shot at landing state contracts, keeping economic activity right here in Maryland. Read more about Brooke’s vision for reforming Maryland’s procurement processes so taxpayers get the best value for their dollar. >
Maryland is not immune from the persistent racial wealth gap that exists in this country and holds back our communities from being as prosperous and thriving as they could be. This racial gap has a persistent negative effect not just on some communities, but on our economy as a whole – and we must confront it head-on. The effects on households are staggering. Median household wealth for Black, Latino, and white households is around $25,000, $36,000, and $188,000, respectively. Nationally, it is estimated that the racial wealth gap and its dampening effects on consumption and investment will cost the US economy between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion over the next decade. As Comptroller, Brooke will use her seat to convene stakeholders, thought partners, and government officials to implement strategies that challenge the gap and begin to undo decades of systemic racism in our housing and business sectors so that every community in Maryland has the chance to reach its full potential and our economy can grow and thrive. Read more about Brooke’s vision for addressing the racial wealth gap so all Marylanders share in prosperity. >
Article I of Maryland’s fourth and current constitution declares that government is instituted for the good of the whole. Government needs to work for all Marylanders, not just some. One of the great strengths of our state is the diversity of our residents. We must strive for government that is inclusive of and accessible to all. Maryland will not fully prosper until our government is responsive to its constituents regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, age, sexuality, language, nation of origin, creed or other aspect of identity. Read more about Brooke’s vision for creating a government that works for all Marylanders. >
As the Chief Financial Officer for the state of Maryland, the Comptroller’s primary responsibility is the administration of the State’s tax and financial system. The Comptroller has responsibility for and oversight of revenue collection, and partners with the Treasurer to oversee our public spending, pensions, and investments. The Comptroller should also play a critical role as an independent auditor to fight fraud, waste, and abuse. The Comptroller also plays a role in ensuring that all Maryland residents have equal and easy access to state services and systems regardless of their identity and ability. Read more about Brooke’s vision for increasing government transparency and accountability to fight fraud, waste, and abuse and ensure that Maryland government is accessible for every Marylander. >
Maryland is at a critical juncture. While the State has some of the most economically prosperous communities in the nation, many neighborhoods and rural areas continue to suffer the effects of poverty, disinvestment, and a history of segregation and racial discrimination. Some communities have access to health facilities, grocery stores, parks, quality housing, jobs, transit, and a clean environment; others do not. Neighborhoods and communities of concentrated poverty limit the economic mobility and life expectancy of its residents and impair the State’s economic growth. In addition, many long-stable middle-income areas are facing new demographic challenges as their population and housing ages. Read more about Brooke’s vision for investing in Maryland communities so every corner of our state achieves prosperity. >
Modernizing the Office of the Comptroller and providing unprecedented customer service to taxpayers will be some of Brooke’s top priorities. This means enhancing current technologies to handle the volume of data, and ensuring the workforce in the Comptroller’s office have opportunities to grow and learn and are supported in their efforts to help every person or company who reaches out to the office. Brooke will continue the process of bringing offline processes online to provide a smoother user experience and to provide better, more usable data. The State’s financial data will be provided in a way that allows for comprehensive analysis and that can be easily understood by anyone who visits the website. Read more about Brooke’s vision for making the Comptroller’s Office work for all Marylanders.
The Comptroller’s duty as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System (SRPS) is one of its most important. The SRPS administers retirement, disability, and death benefits on behalf of more than 400,000 active, vested, and retired State employees, teachers, state police, correctional officers, other law enforcement officers, judges and legislators. The Board supports the Executive Director, Chief Investment Officer, and staff to ensure we are prudently investing the earnings of members ($55 billion and counting) and paying out timely and accurate benefits. Brooke will work with the other Board members to reduce fees, ensure that any outside investment management firms reflect the diversity of our state, and ensure our investments are prudent while also reflecting our progressive values. Read more about Brooke’s vision for protecting Maryland’s pension commitments to our public servants. >
Although 1 in 5 Americans live in rural areas and 97 percent of land in the United States is considered to be rural, many of our rural communities have often been economically, socially, and politically left behind. Maryland’s rural towns are far from homogenous and are home to a diverse number of industries that are vital to the fabric of our state — from farming to manufacturing to recreation and the arts. Our communities in western Maryland, southern Maryland, and on the Eastern Shore are indispensable. They need investments and resources to thrive. Our Comptroller must ensure that every part of the state is meeting its full economic potential – including our rural areas. Read more about Brooke’s vision for investing in our rural communities. >
Education is the cornerstone of thriving and resilient communities – and prosperous ones. It is also the foundation for our state’s economy. Brooke is a proud public-school graduate and parent and believes that every child in Maryland not only has the right to an exceptional education, but needs this foundation to ensure that our state can grow and thrive in the future. Every community deserves to have a local school that offers an exceptional education for all students; that provides a safe and supportive gathering place for the community; and that reflects and celebrates the vibrant culture of the community, of our state, and of our nation. Equity, opportunity, accountability, and excellence are the cornerstones of a strong educational system that will cultivate our next generation of leaders and thinkers. Read more about Brooke’s vision for ensuring that every Marylander has access to educational opportunities at excellent, adequately resourced public schools and universities. >
Perhaps no threat to our economy and way of life is greater than the threat of climate change. Every elected official in Maryland, including the Comptroller, must be actively engaged in meeting this challenge head on. Climate change is already affecting almost every aspect of our state from the economy to the health of our citizens to the preservation of our cultural heritage. Its consequences will become much more serious in the years ahead and will significantly impact important environmental, social, and infrastructure assets. To prepare for climate change, the State needs a detailed understanding of future impacts, and a long-term strategic plan that outlines the role for all state agencies. Coordination for these actions can begin within the operations of the Office of the Comptroller. Making climate resilience one of the key pillars of the Comptroller’s Office will ensure that all decision-making and functions have a “climate lens” by which to define future actions. Read more about Brooke’s vision for addressing the climate crisis and ensuring healthy, sustainable communities in every part of our state. >
Transportation is the second largest budget item for Maryland households. As Comptroller and as a member of the Board of Public Works, Brooke will increase transparency and oversight of transportation funds to help ensure that all Marylanders have access to a quality, 21st-century transportation system that reduces congestion and provides greater access to business and commerce. Read more about Brooke’s vision for a connected state through investments in a 21st-century, accessible, equitable, and sustainable transportation system that connects Marylanders to opportunity. >