In The News

August 20, 2019

Just one traumatic experience in childhood can permanently impact a child’s health and decision-making, studies show. In Baltimore, where there have been more than 1,500 homicides and 3,400 shooting victims since 2015, children experience trauma on a scale that some leaders say amounts to an “epidemic.” Some of the region’s leaders came together Tuesday to look at the most recent research and discuss what more can be done. U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings organized the forum on childhood trauma at the offices of Humanim, a nonprofit that helps people with developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges…. Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore’s former health commissioner, moderated the event, which was attended by such Maryland officials as U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young, Baltimore Schools CEO Sonja Santelises and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, who listened to health experts and discussed ways to prevent childhood trauma and cope with it. Traumatic events such as the death or incarceration of a parent, a drug addiction or mental health issues affecting family members are considered an “adverse childhood experience,” experts explained. Just one of those experiences in childhood is associated with a heightened risk of using illicit drugs, abusing alcohol, attempting suicide, perpetrating violence and suffering from chronic diseases.

August 20, 2019

Just one traumatic experience in childhood can permanently impact a child’s health and decision-making, studies show. In Baltimore, where there have been more than 1,500 homicides and 3,400 shooting victims since 2015, children experience trauma on a scale that some leaders say amounts to an “epidemic.” Some of the region’s leaders came together Tuesday to look at the most recent research and discuss what more can be done. U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings organized the forum on childhood trauma at the offices of Humanim, a nonprofit that helps people with developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges…. Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore’s former health commissioner, moderated the event, which was attended by such Maryland officials as U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young, Baltimore Schools CEO Sonja Santelises and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, who listened to health experts and discussed ways to prevent childhood trauma and cope with it. Traumatic events such as the death or incarceration of a parent, a drug addiction or mental health issues affecting family members are considered an “adverse childhood experience,” experts explained. Just one of those experiences in childhood is associated with a heightened risk of using illicit drugs, abusing alcohol, attempting suicide, perpetrating violence and suffering from chronic diseases.

August 17, 2019

Baltimore was one of dozens of cities across the country where marches and rallies demanded action against gun violence on Saturday. Gun violence has reached a boiling point in Baltimore and across the nation. There were eight fatal shootings in Baltimore this week alone. The Maryland Chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action are part of a nationwide demonstration aimed at getting the U.S. Senate to pass gun legislation.... “It is a disease that has infected every community,” said U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), 3rd District. The U.S. House has passed legislation requiring background checks for all gun sales and while Congress is on summer recess, there’s been pressure for the Senate to come back early to take up gun bills. “This is a critical moment in this country’s history,” said U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), 7th District.

August 16, 2019

Six members of Maryland’s congressional delegation are raising questions about election security and operations in the state ahead of 2020. Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, Steny H. Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and John P. Sarbanes, sent a letter to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) with a series of questions detailing concerns about the 2018 election…. The lawmakers also asserted that before and after the 2018 elections there were concerns about whether voters with disabilities in Maryland are able to vote privately using ballot-marking devices. Earlier this month the National Federation of the Blind sued the State Board of Elections to force an end to what they call a segregated balloting system; the state’s response in federal court is not yet due. The lawmakers raised concern that the number of ballots cast in a presidential election year is generally higher than gubernatorial cycles, so it’s important concerns from 2018 are addressed…. While the governor appoints the bipartisan members of the state’s Board of Elections from party nominees, he is not involved with day-to-day operations of the elections office.

August 8, 2019

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Airport is getting some cash flow from a Department of Transportation grant. Three Maryland lawmakers announced $9.94 million in federal funds for the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Airport through the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration. The funds will be used to reconstruct a portion of Taxiway Z. The announcement comes from U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Rep. John Sarbanes (all D-Md). Sen. Cardin called BWI a huge asset to the state, and the nation, saying that much of the region’s commerce is dependent on the airport’s operation…. Rep. Sarbanes also said the investment will ensure that the airport remains a Maryland economic hub.

August 8, 2019

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport will receive a $10 million federal grant to fix up one of its runway approaches, Maryland congressional delegation officials announced Thursday. The money from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program will be used for the reconstruction of BWI’s Taxiway Z, “which has reached the end of its useful life,” according to a news release from U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, all Democrats…. Sarbanes pledged to continue working with the congressional delegation to bring federal grant money for Maryland infrastructure projects. "This federal investment will help ensure that BWI Airport remains one of Maryland’s key commercial and economic hubs,” Sarbanes said in a statement.

August 8, 2019

On Thursday, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representative John Sarbanes announced $9.94 million in federal funds for the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Lawmakers say these funds will be used to reconstruct a portion of Taxiway Z which has reached the end of its useful life…. “This federal investment will help ensure that BWI Airport remains one of Maryland’s key commercial and economic hubs,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I will continue working closely with my colleagues in the Maryland Congressional Delegation to secure federal funds that improve infrastructure across our state.” This DOT grant will be awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program.

August 8, 2019

Almost $10 million in federal funds have been secured for Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to reconstruct a portion of a taxiway, U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Rep. John Sarbanes announced Thursday. The funds from the Federal Aviation Administration will direct $9.94 million to the airport to reconstruct a portion of Taxiway Z, which has reached the end of its useful life…. "This federal investment will help ensure that BWI Airport remains one of Maryland's key commercial and economic hubs," Sarbanes said in a statement. "I will continue working closely with my colleagues in the Maryland Congressional delegation to secure federal funds that improve infrastructure across our state." The grant will be awarded through the FAA's Airport Improvement Program, which funds various types of airport infrastructure projects, including runways, taxiways and airport signage, lighting and markings.

July 24, 2019

While former Special Counsel Robert Mueller has made it clear he does not intend to go beyond what is laid out in his report when he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday afternoon, he indicated one possible exception in May. The threat to U.S. election security “deserves the attention of every American,” Mueller warned in his rare public remarks on May 29, the closest he got to giving an opinion on the content of his report. He again reiterated those words in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning. “Over the course of my career, I have seen a number of challenges to our democracy,” Mueller told lawmakers. “The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious…. ” If it was prioritized, Mueller could give significant weight to election security efforts that have floundered in Congress. Several Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have indicated that they hope he will use the high-profile hearings to talk about these ongoing threats…. The hearings come as Congress remains deadlocked on legislation to counter the next attack on U.S. election infrastructure, three years after the Russian operation first came to light. Democrats are accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of refusing to allow the Senate to vote on bipartisan election security proposals. “Tomorrow, we’re going to hear again directly from Bob Mueller about what these attacks on our democracy were and hopefully it will spike people’s interest in making sure that we can reinforce our election security,” Rep. John Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat, said on Tuesday. “Hopefully it will get Mitch McConnell interested in this fundamental enterprise to make sure that Americans’ democracy is secure and protected.”

July 23, 2019

House and Senate Democrats on Tuesday used the pending testimony from former special counsel Robert Mueller to launch a full-scale assault on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over his ongoing efforts to block congressional efforts to pass election security legislation…. While Republicans and Democrats alike have attempted to pass a variety of legislation to improve election security over the past two years in response to Russian interference, McConnell has repeatedly stood in the way of the bills and argued against the need for a greater federal role to protect voting…. The criticism comes as the country prepares for Mueller’s long-awaited congressional testimony about his investigation into Russia’s interference into the 2016 election…. Tuesday’s press conference also coincided with testimony by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Russians “are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections…. ” Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), who chairs the House Democracy Reform Task Force, said the chamber had tried to accommodate McConnell by breaking out the ballot box security provisions from a larger measure that was a grab-bag of election reform efforts. But now “that’s piling up on the Senate side against the door that Mitch McConnell has barred when it comes to protecting our democracy,” Sarbanes said, noting that last month the House passed a Democrat-backed bill that would require election systems to use voter-verified paper ballots. “The alarm bells are going off, the lights are flashing and Mitch McConnell is blithely sleepwalking through it all,” he said.

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