In the News: Lawmakers: U.S. Rep. Sarbanes: Senate must act on 2020 election security
February 25, 2020
U.S. Rep. Sarbanes: Senate must act on 2020 election security
John Sarbanes, The Baltimore Sun (Op-Ed)
Recent reporting underscores the alarming vulnerabilities that exist in voting systems across the country (“Voting machines face new criticism,” Feb. 24). As the 2020 election rapidly approaches, we must act urgently to protect our elections and guard against foreign interference.
In Congress, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives has made election security a top priority. As our first order of business, we passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, the most sweeping anti-corruption bill in a generation which included significant election security reforms and resources. Soon after, we passed H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, a comprehensive effort to modernize election systems in every state by increasing the adoption of paper ballots and ensuring the accuracy of vote tallies. We also passed H.R. 4617, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act, a bipartisan bill to counter foreign interference in our democracy.
In the News: An inclusive democracy Demands DC statehood
February 24, 2020
An inclusive democracy Demands DC statehood
Eleanor Holmes Norton and John Sarbanes, The Hill (Op-Ed)
Every student learns that the American Revolution was born, at least in part, out of the conviction that there can be “no taxation without representation.” More than just a slogan, this rallying cry represents the essence of self-determination – the fundamental right of all people to be ruled by their own hand and to choose their own government.
Over two centuries, we have built upon that core principle, with painstaking and persistent work, to make our democracy more representative and inclusive. But today, we face significant structural challenges that threaten the state of our democracy and undermine our right to self-rule.
In the News: Olszewski discusses Prescription Drug Affordability Initiative with board members
February 24, 2020
Olszewski discusses Prescription Drug Affordability Initiative with board members
Charlene Mayo, The Dundalk Eagle
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski joined a panel of lawmakers and Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board members at Oak Crest Senior Living Community on Feb. 18 to hear from the public about the burden of paying for their prescription medications.
U.S. Representative John Sarbanes, D-3, AARP representative Jim Gutman, Maryland’s Citizens’ Health Initiative President Vincent DeMarco and Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board member Dr. Ebere Onukwugha, along with Olszewski, led the second public forum in a series of events around the state.
In the News: John Sarbanes and Brian Frosh: Working to Reduce Youth Vaping and Tobacco Use
February 21, 2020
Working to Reduce Youth Vaping and Tobacco Use
John Sarbanes and Brian Frosh, Maryland Matters (Op-Ed)
With the alarming rise in vaping among teenagers and adolescents, a new public health crisis is unfolding right before our eyes. At the state and federal level, we must move swiftly to protect our children from the harmful, and sometimes deadly, effects of vaping.
The number of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes rose from 3.6 million in 2018 to 5.4 million in 2019 – a 50% increase in a single year. This spike in e-cigarette use has coincided with a significant surge in vaping-related illnesses nationwide. In 2019 alone, the Centers for Disease Control reported 2,506 vaping-related illnesses, including 54 deaths, with nearly 200 new cases reported each week.
In the News: Oak Crest Hosts Government Forum on Prescription Drugs
February 20, 2020
Oak Crest Hosts Government Forum on Prescription Drugs
Jeff Getek, Patch
Oak Crest was proud to serve as the Baltimore County host for the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board (MPDA) listening session on the evening of February 18. More than 75 residents welcomed the opportunity to attend the forum and provide input on the cost of prescription drugs and related issues.
The panelists for the event were Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, MPDA Board Member Ebere Onukwugha, Maryland AARP Advocate Jim Gutman and Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative President Vincent DeMarco. Congressman John Sarbanes, whose district includes Oak Crest, attended the forum and provided remarks.
In the News: The 2020 Census could be the next big hacking and disinformation target
February 13, 2020
The 2020 Census could be the next big hacking and disinformation target
Joseph Marks, The Washington Post
Lawmakers are growing increasingly alarmed about hacking dangers targeting the 2020 Census after a watchdog detailed dozens of high-risk cybersecurity problems that should have been fixed a long time ago.
The hacking danger could be compounded by social media misinformation spread by U.S. adversaries or pranksters falsely claiming that census data is corrupted or the count is rigged, according to the Government Accountability Office report released during a House Oversight Committee hearing yesterday.
In the News: In An Echo Of The Big Tobacco Hearings, Top E-Cigarette Execs Admit Nicotine Is Addictive
February 6, 2020
In An Echo Of The Big Tobacco Hearings, Top E-Cigarette Execs Admit Nicotine Is Addictive
John Daley, Colorado Public News Radio
Leaders of the five largest e-cigarette companies in the U.S. faced a House committee and affirmed, under oath, the addictive nature of their products.
In a moment that echoed the iconic tobacco hearings of the 90s, Rep. Diane DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado, asked each CEO, "Isn't it true that nicotine is addictive?"
In the News: Democrats say Americans want witnesses at Trump impeachment trial
January 29, 2020
Democrats say Americans want witnesses at Trump impeachment trial
Stephen Loiaconi, WSYX (Online)
As senators inched closer Wednesday to a pivotal vote on whether to hear from new witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, House Democrats argued allowing additional testimony is the only way to ensure the public considers the proceedings fair.
“The American people understand a trial means witnesses and the admission of documentary evidence,” said Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I. “You can’t have a trial without witnesses. If you have no evidence and no witnesses, you don’t have a trial. You have a cover-up for the president.”
In the News: Lawmakers begin the push for a 3.5% federal pay raise in 2021
January 28, 2020
Lawmakers begin the push for a 3.5% federal pay raise in 2021
Nicole Ogrysko, Federal News Network
In keeping with what’s become an annual tradition, a bicameral pair of Democrats have introduced legislation to ensure employees receive a federal pay raise in 2021.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) have reintroduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act again this year. This time, they’re calling for a 3.5% federal pay raise in 2021.
In the News: Religious Leaders React to Proposed Increase in Funding to Prevent Hate Crimes
January 28, 2020
Religious Leaders React to Proposed Increase in Funding to Prevent Hate Crimes
Evan Greenberg, Baltimore Magazine
Over the course of 12 days in November 2016, United Maryland Muslim Council director Mubariz Razvi and his wife were camped at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s shock trauma ward. Their adopted 23-year-old son, Ali Shah, was suffering from sepsis, on life support, and unfortunately, didn’t have much time left to live.
Around a week into agonizing over Shah’s health, a woman saw that the ward doorway was clear, walked into the room, and rudely confronted Razvi.
In the News: Citizens United decision weathers 10 years of controversy
January 21, 2020
Citizens United decision weathers 10 years of controversy
Alex Gangitano, The Hill
A decade after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United decision, which ushered in the era of super PACs and unlimited donations, the fight over the contentious ruling shows no signs of easing.
The case upended the campaign finance system, after the justices in a 5-4 ruling authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy on Jan. 21, 2010 found that restrictions on corporate campaign spending violated free speech.
In the News: Lawmakers: The US cannot afford another 10 years of Citizens United
January 21, 2020
Lawmakers: The US cannot afford another 10 years of Citizens United
Tom Udall and John Sarbanes, CNN (Op-Ed)
Ten years ago, the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission unleashed a torrent of outside spending by corporations and wealthy donors who seized the opportunity to buy unlimited influence in Washington. The decision exponentially increased the amount of money in our politics and emboldened foreign actors to corrupt our elections. Our democracy has paid a heavy price.
Since the Citizens United decision, just 10 individuals have injected more than $1.2 billion into our elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Secret money groups have poured $963 million into ads without telling voters who paid for them. And Americans have no way of knowing how much foreign money has infiltrated our elections.
In the News: ‘Your Voice’ Interview on Impeachment and Citizens United Anniversary
January 15, 2020
‘Your Voice’ Interview on Impeachment and Citizens United Anniversary
In the News: Tree Planting Bill Dropped
January 15, 2020
Tree Planting Bill Dropped
Kelsey Tamborrino, POLITICO (‘Morning Energy’)
A bipartisan trio of Reps. Doris Matsui, John Sarbanes and Jeff Fortenberry is introducing legislation today creating an Energy Department grant program to enable residential consumers to get free or discounted tree-planting services. "By creating a competitive tree-planting grant program, we can empower communities to improve green space, reduce consumer costs, and help fight climate change — a win-win-win," Matsui said in a statement.
In the News: Maryland legislators, faith leaders back funding increase in wake of religious hate crimes
January 13, 2020
Maryland legislators, faith leaders back funding increase in wake of religious hate crimes
Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun
Government funding for the protection of synagogues, mosques and churches has been on the rise in Maryland and across the United States in the past half-decade and more, but legislators and faith leaders are calling for a vast increase in such funding as threats against religious institutions persist.
Maryland’s U.S. senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, and Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders were among those who gathered Monday at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in Pikesville to back a proposal calling for a quadrupling of funding provided by the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program, to $360 million in fiscal year 2021.
In the News: Maryland lawmakers call for more protection for places of worship
January 13, 2020
LIVE: Maryland lawmakers call for more protection for places of worship
Tiffany Watson, WBFF-TV (Online)
On Monday at 10:30 am, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, Senator Ben Cardin and Congressman John Sarbanes will be joined by leaders of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities in Baltimore to stand united against religious intolerance, hate, and antisemitism.
The Senators will announce their support for a new proposal to quadruple funding for the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides security assistance to religious and community nonprofit institutions that are at high risk of terrorist attack.
In the News: Only about 30% surveyed agree workplace harassment issues at Maryland legislature resolved fairly, quickly
January 10, 2020
Only about 30% surveyed agree workplace harassment issues at Maryland legislature resolved fairly, quickly
Brian Witte, The Baltimore Sun
A first-of-its kind workplace climate survey in Maryland’s legislature found a high level of awareness about policies regarding harassment and discrimination and how to report it, but less confidence in how complaints are resolved and whether they result in fair outcomes, the survey released Friday said.
The survey included lawmakers in both the House and Senate, as well as staff members, employees at the Department of Legislative Services and lobbyists.
In the News: Howard residents voice concern over rising costs at first forum for Prescription Drug Affordability Board
January 6, 2020
Howard residents voice concern over rising costs at first forum for Prescription Drug Affordability Board
Ana Faguy, The Baltimore Sun
Howard County hosted a forum Monday afternoon to get community input on the rising cost of prescription drugs.
It was the first in a series of listening forums planned across Maryland to bring personal stories to the state Prescription Drug Affordability Board. The Prescription Drug Affordability Board Act was signed into law last May, creating a five-person board to look into what can be done at the local and state level to reduce drug costs.
In the News: Maryland Politicians React to Trump Impeachment
December 19, 2019
Maryland Politicians React to Trump Impeachment
Evan Greenberg, Baltimore Magazine
Rep. John Sarbanes said Wednesday that Democrats are largely united behind the two articles of impeachment announced Tuesday.
In one of the more poignant moments of the final day of the House of Representatives’ impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, Baltimore was front and center.
In the News: ‘We did all we could, Elijah’: After Trump impeachment, Pelosi references late Rep. Cummings
December 19, 2019
‘We did all we could, Elijah’: After Trump impeachment, Pelosi references late Rep. Cummings
Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun
Maryland lawmakers in Washington described as “sobering” a historic day that began with a House clerk solemnly reading a resolution urging that “Donald John Trump, president of the United States” be impeached.