In The News
Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) secured $7,225,000 in federal funding via three U.S. House of Representatives Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) appropriations vehicles, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) spending bill, the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) spending bill, and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) spending bill. “This new tranche of federal funding for Maryland’s Third Congressional District will help strengthen health care systems, public safety initiatives, job opportunities and community services for thousands of residents,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who secured funding for all ten of his Community Project Funding requests – including $620,000 for environmental projects. “I will always work closely with my colleagues in Congress to deliver vital federal resources that help improve the lives and livelihoods of Marylanders across our state.” LHHS funding secured by Congressman Sarbanes includes: $2,325,000 for the City of Baltimore to expand and enhance broadband internet connections to the city’s senior centers, provide devices to enable telehealth services for seniors and implement an effective telemedicine model at senior centers with the most need; $750,000 for the Living Classrooms Foundation to help address the underlying causes of violence in Baltimore and support the organization’s Safe Streets initiative by increasing access to good-paying jobs through a growing network of job training and job placement opportunities; $750,000 for Vehicles for Change to provide paid internships, certifications and job placement services to individuals with multiple barriers to employment, including many Marylanders who recently returned from prison and work as auto mechanics. The project will also offer cars to families to help them access employment opportunities; $250,000 for the Muslim Community Center, Inc. to help expand its services to residents in Montgomery County and respond to the increased need for affordable health and dental care – including mental health, substance abuse, post-COVID illnesses and patient-centered, coordinated care for the uninsured and underinsured. CJS funding secured by Congressman Sarbanes includes: $2,000,000 for the City of Baltimore to support its 9-1-1 Diversion Pilot, a multi-agency public safety system to divert non-urgent or low-risk calls in the city to behavioral health and crisis professionals instead of the police and $600,000 for LifeBridge Health to support the organization’s Center for Hope, a new comprehensive approach to help prevent violence in Baltimore through coordinated multi-disciplinary teams that work with community partners, government agencies and other experts. THUD funding secured by Congressman Sarbanes includes: $300,000 for the City of Annapolis to help protect the Annapolis City Dock by providing additional flood protection, storm water management and resiliency measures and $250,000 for the Pikesville Armory Foundation to help transform a historic military campus into a public center for recreation, cultural arts, open space, community engagement and historic preservation, which will benefit residents in northwest Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Earlier this year, Congressman Sarbanes accepted FY22 Community Project Funding requests to direct federal resources to nonprofit organizations and public entities, such as state and local governments.
Congress faces growing pressure to pass new federal voting legislation in the wake of a Supreme Court decision last week that will make it more difficult to challenge a spate of new Republican-backed state-level voting restrictions. Democrats already wrestling with a loaded agenda on voting rights now face the additional complication of how to address the ruling, beyond a slew of strongly worded statements. Congressional leaders say legislation to expand ballot access is their top priority in the aftermath of the 2020 election, but they have struggled to advance it. Last month, a sweeping package that would have set a new national baseline for election laws while overhauling campaign finance and government ethics provisions ran into a solid wall of Republican opposition in the closely divided Senate.... Like Democrats’ earlier bill, known as the For the People Act, the Lewis legislation faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate. There, it would require the support of all 48 Democratic senators, the two independents who caucus with them, and at least 10 Republicans in order to break a filibuster. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a Republican, has co-sponsored previous iterations of the John Lewis act and is considered likely to do so again. Butterfield said he still believes it’s possible for negotiations to produce a bill that a sufficient number of Republican senators could support.... Many Democrats are also continuing to push for passage of the For the People Act, which Republicans have said is a partisan proposal in its current form. “There’s really nothing we can say to the voters next year if we don’t get this fundamental democracy reform legislation passed and enacted into law,” said Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Maryland, who sponsored the bill in the U.S. House.... Voting rights advocates and many Democratic lawmakers have pressed Democratic senators to eliminate the filibuster, which would allow legislators to pass bills with a simple majority. “It’s extremely unfortunate, but I think it’s become increasingly clear that Democrats may have to go it alone,” said Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs for the nonpartisan Common Cause, a nonprofit group that has advocated for both the For the People Act and the legislation named for Lewis.
Descendant of Maryland-born abolitionist Frederick Douglass, joined federal, state and local officials in a ceremony Friday commemorating the 150th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the B&P Tunnel. During the ceremony, Amtrak announced it will honor Douglass by naming its replacement for the B&P Tunnel after him.... In another sign of momentum, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday evening Maryland’s commitment to working with Amtrak and the federal government to replace the aging tunnel. The state and Amtrak are negotiating a formal memorandum of understanding.... Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater wouldn’t disclose how much the state is looking to commit, but said he is working with Hogan on including state-funded portions of the project in the next six-year capital budget for transportation projects. He said the state is already working on procuring new dual diesel and electric locomotives that can run completely on electricity while traveling through the new tunnel. Congressman Kweisi Mfume, John Sarbanes and Anthony Brown each spoke during the event about the importance of the tunnel and what they’re doing to push for federal funding. U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen provided recorded video statements. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Polly Trottenberg, Mayor Brandon Scott and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democratic candidate for governor next year, also spoke. They all said constructing a new tunnel is expected to create 30,000 jobs for the region, including 20,000 during construction. Scott said the project will provide a boost to Baltimore and hopefully convince more people to move to the city even if they work elsewhere. All of the leaders agreed that moving the project forward must be a top priority. “With all of this leadership here, we have no excuse but to get this thing done,” Slater said.
As Gov Larry Hogan, R-Md., lifts Maryland out of a state of emergency, businesses are looking, some even desperate to hire. At the same time other small businesses are struggling to pay off debt and secure relief funds. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., joins the morning show to discuss these challenges in our Your Voice series.
Helping Americans find employment is the cornerstone of President Joe Biden's American Jobs plan. At least $100 billion has been set aside for workforce development, including registered apprenticeship programs like the one the U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh showcased Tuesday in Baltimore County. Apprenticeship programs like this one have become a priority for people out of work or who may have chosen a profession instead of a formal education. Walsh spent time with close to a dozen residents now enrolled in the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 37 in Sparrows Point. As a former head of a building and construction trades council, Walsh said what he saw taking place in Baltimore County is an example of what can take place across the country. "This is so important because it lays down the foundation for the importance of training, of educating the young people and the people that come through these programs it really is important," Walsh said.... Local and national government leaders said they're committed to investing in the future now.... "It improves the middle class. It lifts our economy more broadly for working people, and organized working people are what can make a difference in this country," said U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Maryland. And in particular, places like the training facility in Baltimore County. The goal of those who are currently in the program is to land a job in three years or less.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will join U.S. Rep John Sarbanes to tour the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 37’s training site in Baltimore, Maryland. He will also discuss the Biden-Harris administration’s historic investments in workforce training with labor leaders, apprentices and instructors. Walsh will also discuss The American Jobs Plan, which includes $100 billion for workforce development, including the creation of one to two million new Registered Apprenticeships. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski will join U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, U.S. Rep John Sarbanes, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 37 Business Manager Bob Hosley, and other labor leaders to tour the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 37’s training site in Sparrows Point.
U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, with Maryland Congressmen Kweisi Mfume, John Sarbanes, and Anthony Brown, joined Mayor Brandon Scott on Monday to make the case for infrastructure funding to redress West Baltimore’s infamous “Highway to Nowhere.” Built in the late 1960s, the long-since scrapped urban highway was once intended to connect I-70 to downtown and link it to I-95 and I-83. Completion of the project was finally halted amid community opposition—in part led by then-community organizer Barbara Mikulski—from threatened neighborhoods along the proposed route. By that point, however, the damage had been done in West Baltimore where more than 970 homes, 60 businesses, and 1,500 local residents were displaced. In April, Van Hollen and Cardin introduced the Reconnecting Communities Act to reconnect and revitalize areas like the West Mulberry Street and West Franklin Street corridor that were harmed by the construction of the Interstate Highway System. That legislation, if passed by Congress, would establish a U.S. Department of Transportation grant program as part of President Joe Biden’s $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan and assist communities in removing or retrofitting highway infrastructure that became an obstacle to mobility and economic opportunity. Biden’s plan, according to the White House, includes $20 billion explicitly to “reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments,” with a targeted “40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities.”
Four Annapolis restaurant owners who overcame hurdles to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic met Tuesday morning with second gentleman Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris.... Emhoff joined the business owners for a listening session at the Annapolis Maritime Museum on Tuesday. The restauranteurs talked about the challenges they faced in deciding whether to remain open or shifting their business to takeout, the help they received from federal assistance such as the Paycheck Protection Program and how they joined forces to assist others in the community.... Also among those joining Emhoff at the museum were U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes and Small Business Administration Administrator Isabel Guzman.