Susan C. Lee

Susan C. Lee
  • Democrat
  • Age: 64
  • Residence: Bethesda

About Susan C. Lee

Education

BA- University of Maryland College Park JD- Unversity of San Francisco School of Law

Background

Senator, Maryland State Senate -2015 to Present; Delegate, Maryland House of Delegates 2002-2014; Private & Public Sectors: Attorney, Gebhardt & Associates, US Patent & Trademark Office, US Civil Rights Commission.

Questionnaire

1
Kirwan
Do you support the findings of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education? Are you committed to funding associated reforms, and if so, how?
Lee: Yes, I support those recommendations that will build on, update, and improve the Thornton Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools which will provide every student in Maryland with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed and achieve their fullest potential. I supported and helped pass laws to create an Education Lock Box that will require Casino revenues to go only support, not supplant education funding and to have a new Interagency Commission on School Construction that will provide effective processes for obtaining increased school construction funding for local jurisdictions. This session, I supported legislation to invest $6.5 billion in K-12 education and to fully fund the Geographic Cost of Education Index, while injecting $11.4 million to fund the Kirwan Commission’s interim recommendations.
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2
Transportation
Is Maryland’s transportation spending appropriately balanced between roads and transit? Does the state have the resources to meet its transportation needs? With the cancellation of the Red Line and the advent of BaltimoreLink, is the Baltimore region adequately served by transit?
Lee: We need to increase funding for mass transit and the repair and improvement of infrastructures. The funding and efforts to overhaul the bus system must produce service that is efficient, reliable, safe and affordable. We need to review and assess those efforts to ensure their goals are achieved. We also need to support the Red Line, which will ensure individuals can get to work, home, school and other places, connect vibrant communities, and reduce congestion and pollution. This is an investment in our community that will enable people to have greater access to transportation, thereby creating more opportunities, jobs, and state revenues while increasing the quality of their lives.
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3
Marijuana
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Lee: We have to review and learn from the experiences in states allowing legalization. If the voters approve legalization via ballot, it should be regulated and taxed and the revenues used for funding education, health care, transportation, environment, other important priorities.
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4
Chesapeake Bay
At a time when the federal government’s commitment to Chesapeake Bay restoration is questionable, what new steps should Maryland take to protect this resource?
Lee: I have and will continue to support increased funding for the Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund, protect oyster and crab populations, reduce agricultural, animal waste, and pollution runoff, and greenhouse gas emissions, increase Renewal Portfolio Standards, hold companies engaged in offshore oil and gas drilling strictly liable for economic or environmental damage caused by any spill, support septic and storm water management and accountability, forest conservation efforts, and applicable state agencies’ enforcement activities and programs, require legislative approval before Maryland can withdraw from the US Climate Alliance or the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and to allow the Attorney General to file suit on our behalf to protect the environment .
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5
Health Care
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Lee: I have and will continue to support and pass legislation to increase access to affordable and quality health care and prescription drugs for all Marylanders. To migitate recent Federal action, I helped pass laws to create Reinsurance program to cover the most costly claims by people on Maryland Health Benefit Exchange and to have the Maryland Insurance Coverage Protection Commission study the long term stability of the state’s insurance market. I also helped passed laws to increase rescription drug price transparency and Telehealth, which will save lives, increase early diagnosis, produce better outcomes, and provide service to underserved communities.
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6
Crime
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Lee: The Governor and General Assembly must continue to work to pass laws with the collaborative input and participation of community, civil rights, law enforcement, prosecutors, public defenders, other stakeholders on gun violence, witness protection, prosecution, sentencing, expungement, restorative justice, increased support for crime prevention programs and other measures to address violent crime.
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7
Business Climate
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Lee: I have supported and helped pass laws such as the Maryland Healthy Families Act (earned sick leave), Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (which I was the lead senate sponsor), and increased child care subsidy funding, and other laws, which have allowed hard working individuals to take care of themselves or family members when they are sick or not make others in workplace sick, allowed domestic violence victims to take care of their legal work, and have a workplace that promotes transparency, fairness, merit and productivity. The state can continue to pass similar laws which will help hard working families support themselves and enable businesses to recruit and keep the best and most talented workforce, all which will help boost our economy.
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8
Redistricting
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Lee: I support a comprehensive federal measure, instead of piece meal measures by the state, that will ensure an independent commission of multi-partisan, unaffiliated voters, diverse stakeholders with public input and a process and standards that support fairness and effective representation.
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9
LEOBR
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Lee: The law was intended to be a balance that would make changes in police training, standards, effectiveness, and accountability, while protecting citizens’ complaint processes, rights, and participation, as well as keeping communities safe. As our laws continue to be a work in progress, there is always ways in which are our laws can be improved.
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10
Opioids
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Lee: In addition to the legislation already passed by the General Assembly, there must be comprehensive collaboration by federal, state, and local government, health care providers and systems, law enforcement, prosecutors, victims, families, and other stakeholders on legislation, funding, policies, and programs to support education, awareness, intervention, addiction and overdose programs, new technologies and medical treatments for prevention and treatment, prescription drug guidelines and best practices, and other measures to effectively address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis.
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11
Income inequality
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Lee: The Maryland General Assembly has and can continue to work to pass legislation to strengthen laws to fight race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, religion, age, and disability discrimination and discrimination against people of all backgrounds. This session, the legislature passed laws to fight and address sexual harassment, which creates a hostile work environment and barriers to an employee’s ability to succeed and achieve their fullest potential. I was also the Senate Lead Sponsor of the Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which updated and strengthened the state’s pay equity law by prohibiting discrimination based on sex or gender identity, allowing an employee to ask or inquire about wage disparities without fear of retaliation or being fired, banning Mommy Tracking and employers from using affirmative defenses that are based not on merit, but on sex, gender identity, prior discriminatory practices, or outdated stereotypes, and creating a workplace that promotes transparency, fairness, merit and productivity. The law is now one of the strongest pay equity laws in the nation. I was also the Senate Lead sponsor of legislation to correct a loophole in the law that prevented individuals with certain serious disabilities from receiving vital nursing services (that enabled them to work) and continuing to work to support themselves. I will continue to work on legislation to address income inequality.
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12
Transparency
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Lee: While updates in our Public Information Act and open meetings laws were good steps in increasing accessibility, transparency and accountability, new issues addressing privacy rights, surveillance video, new technologies, government accountability, and other emerging issues also should be addressed.
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