In a time when businesses, government institutions, and Americans are vulnerable to cyber threats and hacks, Peter has been a national leader in the fight against tax fraud and identity theft. His landmark Taxpayer Protection Act was unanimously passed by the General Assembly in 2017, which grants his office additional statutory tools to bolster his ongoing aggressive efforts to protect hardworking Marylanders from financial crimes. Since 2007, Peter’s office has successfully intercepted more than 87,000 fraudulent returns and blocked more than $190 million in fraudulent tax refund payments, and has worked closely with law enforcement officials to bring these financial predators to justice.
As the state’s regulator of the alcohol, tobacco, and motor fuel industries, Peter continues to prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of consumers through responsible and active enforcement of state regulations. He led the effort to increase penalties for cigarette smugglers in 2013. Additionally, his Field Enforcement Division has taken legal action on more than 1,000 violations pertaining to violations and crimes surrounding tobacco and related products, and has seized more than 2.5 million packs of contraband cigarettes worth at least $12 million since 2007.
As Vice Chair of the State’s Pension and Retirement System, Peter has stood up for retired state employees, law enforcement officers, and teachers by ensuring that the State meets its contribution obligations in order to maintain the solvency of our retirees’ hard-earned pension and retirement funds. In 2013, Peter broke ranks with his own party by opposing Governor O’Malley’s harmful decision to unnecessarily shift $100 million from the state pension system. Peter believes that the funds that our state retirees have worked hard to earn should not be subject to cuts and reductions, and that Maryland’s budgetary appropriators should continue to keep its commitment to state employees and retirees by fully funding its obligations annually.
Utilizing his oversight responsibilities as a member of the state’s powerful Board of Public Works, Peter has fought to ensure that Maryland’s public school facilities are safe and healthy environments for students to learn, and for teachers and staff members to work. That’s why he stood alongside thousands of students and teachers who were suffering in sweltering and unhealthy classrooms to fight for the immediate installation of air-conditioning units in dozens of school facilities in Baltimore County and Baltimore City.
As Maryland’s chief fiscal officer, Peter understands the vital role that our small businesses play in our communities and state economy. That’s why he’s fought alongside small business owners against burdensome laws and regulations that compromise their operations. Currently, Peter is fighting for the future of Maryland’s thriving craft brewing industry and has convened a task force to review the state’s antiquated laws and make legislative recommendations to make Maryland the best state in the nation for craft breweries to operate, grow, and thrive.
Peter takes his role as Maryland’s fiscal watchdog very seriously. That’s why he’s spoken out against fiscal policies and backroom deals that would harm our state’s economic and fiscal future, and has advocated for a multi-year moratorium on new taxes and fees to provide stability in our economy during a time of continued volatility and uncertainty.