Q&A: Kelly Schulz, Maryland Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Photography by Turner Photography Studio | Posted on 02.04.15 – People & Places, Q&A

As labor secretary for Maryland, what will be your main responsibilities?

As with any cabinet position within the administration, my primary responsibilities include the day-to-day operations of the department, oversight of the budget and fostering the governor’s policy initiatives. The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is an integral part of his mission to bring business back to Maryland.

Looking for efficiencies within the department will be a major part of my overall mission over the next four years, as well as helping to change the perception that Maryland does not appreciate the difficulties that businesses have in our state. The administration’s goal is to make all stakeholders feel as if they are as important as the next. Creating a cohesive business culture will be a top priority.

How difficult was it to decide to resign your delegate seat for the cabinet position?

Extremely difficult! I take my responsibilities as a public servant very seriously. The community has accepted my ability to represent them in Annapolis over the past four years, and I am honored to have their support. It is my responsibility to also earn their trust in my new role. My choice to serve a larger constituency will not hinder my relationship with my neighbors in Frederick County … it will only make the impact of my decisions and successes that much more beneficial to them.

What are the top issues you’ll immediately face as secretary?

The budget constraints will be our immediate concern. Every department has been asked to cut back from both the current fiscal 2015 budget and the fiscal 2016 budget. Finding efficiencies will be a large part of my immediate agenda.
My schedule will also include a great deal of time with the legislature during the General Assembly session. Those
committees that have oversight over programs, initiatives and the budget have scheduled briefings with several
divisions within the department. Providing briefings as well as testimony on legislation that directly impacts the department will bring me back to Annapolis several times throughout the year. Fortunately, most of the
briefings will occur in a committee that I have been very comfortable in over the last four years, the Economic
Matters Committee.

Now that you will be serving citizens statewide, will you miss the more personal interaction with constituents?

Of course, but I don’t plan to change much of what I have done over the years. Those that have looked to me for advice on an issue will still have that access in the future. I also look forward to community events and will continue to attend. There are endless opportunities to connect with the numerous friends that I have made over the years. Besides, the parades are the best part of summer!

If Chick and Ruth’s Delly in Annapolis wanted to name a sandwich after you, what would be the ingredients?

I would love it to be comfort food. Annapolis can be cold and grey during the legislative session. A grilled ham and
cheese would be the perfect companion to a hot bowl of bean and bacon soup.