Sen. Susan Lee Completes Productive 2017 Session

Senator Susan Lee

Senator Susan Lee, an attorney, was elected to the Maryland State Senate in November 2014 after serving 13 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, and is the first Asian American senator elected to the Maryland Senate and first minority senator to the Montgomery County Delegation to Annapolis. She is the Deputy Majority Whip in the Senate; a Member of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and Joint Committee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology and Biotechnology; Chair of the Maryland Legislative Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus; Chair of the Maryland Cybersecurity Council Subcommittee on Law, Policy & Legislation; and President Emeritus of the Women Legislators of the Maryland General Assembly, Inc.

Among her accomplishments for the term were leading legislative efforts to:

  • Maintain our commitment to public schools
  • Pass a balanced budget that honored Maryland values
  • Stand up for Maryland against federal actions to defund vital programs
  • Fight elder abuse and child abuse
  • Protect domestic violence and human trafficking victims
  • Stop online identity theft
  • Fight drug price gouging
  • Increase transparency in Public Information Act requests
  • Allow over 700,000 Marylanders to earn sick leave

Susan is the daughter of a World War II veteran of the US Navy and retired Washington Post artist, and a proud product of the Montgomery County public schools, Leland Junior High School, Herbert Hoover Junior High and Winston Churchill High School. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park and University of San Francisco School of Law. Susan was a member of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board, Jewish Foundation for Group Homes Board, Montgomery County Gang Task Force, and Progressive Maryland, as well as Co-Chair of the NAACP Multicultural Community Partnership. She was appointed to serve on the United States Patent and Trademark Advisory Board during the Clinton Administration.

Susan represents District 16, which includes Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, Potomac, Rockville, Cabin John, and Glen Echo. She and her husband live in Bethesda.

For more on Senator Lee’s legislative accomplishments, read her:

Sen. Susan Lee Starts 2017 Session

Senator Susan Lee

As the 2017 Maryland General Assembly legislative session gets underway in Annapolis, Senator Susan Lee sent the following message to her District 16 constituents,”Thank you for the honor and privilege of representing you in the Maryland State Senate. I had a productive 2016 Senate session, and look forward to another year of gains in education, pay equity, environmental protection, and other issues important to Maryland’s hard-working families. Please review the 2016 Maryland General Assembly Highlights to see how your state legislature is working for you, and please contact me if I can be of help to you and your neighbors.”

MORE: 2016 Maryland General Assembly Highlights

Equal Pay for Equal Work in Maryland

Signing of Senator Susan Lee's Equal Pay Act

State Sen. Susan Lee (center, wearing blue) with Gov. Larry Hogan (center, seated) and Maryland legislators at the signing of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.

From the United States Department of Labor Blog:

On average, women in America earn about 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. In Maryland, women make about 84.3 cents for every dollar a man makes, on average. Women of color face a racial wage gap on top of the gender gap. Compared to white non-Hispanic men, Asian-American women make about 82.2 cents on the dollar, African-American women 69 cents, and Latinas 47.1 cents.

While Maryland fares better than many other states, any gap is unacceptable. Because many women are increasingly the primary or co-breadwinner for their families, this means they are losing millions of dollars each year that could be spent on food, housing, education and other essentials.

Instead of waiting for Congress to pass national legislation, Maryland has moved forward in passing the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which significantly updates and strengthens our state’s existing pay equity law.

I was proud to help spearhead the passage of the law together with my Maryland General Assembly colleagues, and women, family, labor and business leaders throughout the state. It was signed by Gov. Larry Hogan in May.

This new law increases transparency in the workplace by allowing employees to ask about, discuss, or request information about wages without fear of retaliation or being fired and bans employers from forcing their workers to sign waivers regarding wage discussions or information requests. Some of the greatest barriers to women being able to better negotiate and secure equal pay are the result of many companies discouraging or outright banning employees from discussing or asking about their wages. This blanket of secrecy has made it almost impossible for women to know if they are being underpaid for comparable work done by their male counterparts or to seek relief under federal, state, or local laws.

In addressing the barriers women often face in being promoted to nontraditional, higher paying jobs, this law also bans “mommy tracking” where employers provide less favorable employment opportunities by directing or assigning less favorable career tracks; failing to provide information on promotion or advancement opportunities; or limiting or depriving an employee of employment opportunities that would be otherwise available, but for an employee’s sex or gender identity.

We in Maryland are proud of our history of passing progressive legislation to uplift and empower all hardworking people. Our Equal Pay for Equal Work law is about fundamental fairness and will help close discriminatory wage gaps; enable women to support themselves and their families; strengthen our middle class by boosting the local economy; and ensure workplaces promote transparency, fairness, merit and productivity.

Susan C. Lee is a Maryland State Senator

Sen. Susan Lee Completes Productive 2016 Session

Senator Susan Lee

Senator Susan Lee, an attorney, was elected to the Maryland State Senate in November 2014 after serving 13 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, and is the first Asian American senator elected to the Maryland Senate and first minority senator to the Montgomery County Delegation to Annapolis. She is a Member of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee; Joint Committee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology and Biotechnology; Governor’s Family Violence Council; and is a member of the Maryland Cybersecurity Council and its Law and Policy Subcommittee Co-Chair; and the Workgroup on Youth Victims of Human Trafficking, which were both created by two laws Senator Lee introduced and passed. The Council builds on the landmark, first-ever laws passed by the Commission on Maryland Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence which she served and led as Co-Chair. The Council not only provides legislative and policy recommendations for protecting Maryland against large scale cyber-attacks that can paralyze our government, economy and vital infrastructures, but also makes Maryland the Epicenter of Cyber innovations and jobs, a knowledge base industry that will help the state globally compete and sustain its future.

She also served as Co-Chair of the Nanobiotechnology Task Force and helped pass laws to assist biotech and IT small companies, including technology transfers and commercialization. During her tenure as Co-Chair of the Identity Theft Task Force, she authored and passed significant, first ever laws to fight identity theft and online crimes.

Serving two terms as President of the Women’s Legislative Caucus, Senator Lee led efforts to pass an aggressive agenda of laws to economically empower minorities, women, children and immigrants, fight domestic violence and human trafficking, and reduce health care disparities. She co-authored and passed Maryland’s first ever Telemedicine laws to increase Telemedicine which has a track record of saving lives, increasing health care access and early diagnosis, improving outcomes and reducing health care costs and disparities, particularly in underserved communities.

In addition to help passing laws during the 2016 legislative session to advance excellence in education, cut down on drunk driving, reform policing and criminal justice procedures, bring greater transparency to transportation funding, and support Montgomery County service agencies, Senator Lee introduced and spearheaded efforts to the pass the Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work law to close wage gaps and “Alicia’s Law to create an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Fund to help rescue children abducted by online sexual predators. She was the lead sponsor on legislation passed to strengthen anti-stalking laws, expand the state’s extortion law to protect labor and human trafficking victims, protect the confidentiality of addresses of domestic violence and human trafficking victims, prosecute dogfighting, and restore a crime victim’s right to restitution on appeal.

Senator Lee, who was one of the founders and the first Chairman of the Coalition of Asian Pacific American Democrats of Maryland, spearheaded efforts to create the Maryland Legislative Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus. She is the recent recipient of the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence’s Legislative Award, Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women’s Legislative Leadership Award, and Maryland National Organization for Women’s Recognition Certificate for work on pay equity and domestic violence legislation.

Susan is the daughter of a World War II veteran of the US Navy and retired Washington Post artist and a proud product of the Montgomery County public schools, Leland Junior High School, Herbert Hoover Junior High and Winston Churchill High School. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park and University of San Francisco School of Law. Susan was a member of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board, Jewish Foundation for Group Homes Board, Montgomery County Gang Task Force, and Progressive Maryland and Co-Chair of the NAACP Multicultural Community Partnership. She was appointed to serve on the United States Patent and Trademark Advisory Board during the Clinton Administration.

Susan represents District 16, which includes Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, Potomac, Rockville, Cabin John, and Glen Echo. She and her husband live in Bethesda.

For more on Senator Lee’s legislative accomplishments, read her:

Happy Holidays to All!

Senator Susan Lee

Thank you for the honor and privilege of representing you in the Maryland State Senate. After serving 13 years in the House of Delegates, I had a productive 2015 Senate session and want to provide you with an overview of some of the legislation passed and issues for the upcoming 2016 session.

My best wishes to you and your family for a happy holiday season.

Maryland Cybersecurity Council Starts Work

Maryland Cybersecurity Council

[Capital News Service photo by Naomi Eide]

The Maryland Cybersecurity Council, with more than 40 members from both the public and private sector, met for the first time on Nov. 10, 2015, in Hyattsville, Md. The Council plans to develop statewide guidelines for a coordinated response in the event of cybersecurity attacks. Here is an excerpt from the Capital News Service:

State Sen. Susan Lee, D-Montgomery, co-chair of the former commission and a member of the council, said she wants the new panel to work to both prevent cybersecurity risks and take advantage of the cyber job markets in the state.

Both the NSA and the U.S. Cyber Command are located in Fort Meade, Maryland.

“We could be, we should be, the epicenter of cyber innovation and jobs. But you have to make it a priority,” Lee said.

The primary sponsor for the bill establishing the council, Lee originally wanted to extend the life of the commission beyond its three-and-a-half year lifespan but came across opposition, she said. “No one wants to get regulated or (to) change things.”

“Maybe it’s because they don’t understand the gravity of this problem,” Lee said, citing potential threats to both government and commercial industries.

“What if they attacked a utility or public service carrier? That would be horrible,” Lee said. “That would really impact public safety.”

Senator Susan Lee represents Maryland’s District 16, which includes Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, Potomac, Rockville, Cabin John, and Glen Echo. She was elected to the Maryland State Senate in November 2014 after serving 13 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, and is the first Asian American senator elected to the Maryland Senate and first minority senator in the Montgomery County Delegation to Annapolis.

During the 2015 legislative session in Annapolis, Senator Lee served as a Member of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee; Joint Committee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology and Biotechnology; and the Maryland Cybersecurity Council and the Workgroup on Youth Victims of Human Trafficking, which were both created by two laws Senator Lee introduced and passed. The Council will build on the landmark, first-ever laws passed by the Commission on Maryland Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence which she served and led as Co-Chair. The Council will not only provide legislative and policy recommendations for protecting Maryland against large scale cyber-attacks that can paralyze our government, economy and vital infrastructures, but also make Maryland the Epicenter of Cyber innovations and jobs, a knowledge base industry that will help the state globally compete and sustain its future.

For more on Senator Lee’s legislative accomplishments, read her:

Senator Lee Completes Productive 2015 Session

Senator Susan Lee

Senator Susan Lee, an attorney, was elected to the Maryland State Senate in November 2014 after serving 13 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, and is the first Asian American senator elected to the Maryland Senate and first minority senator to the Montgomery County Delegation to Annapolis.

During the 2015 legislative session in Annapolis, Senator Lee served as a Member of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee; Joint Committee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology and Biotechnology; and the Maryland Cybersecurity Council and the Workgroup on Youth Victims of Human Trafficking, which were both created by two laws Senator Lee introduced and passed. The Council will build on the landmark, first-ever laws passed by the Commission on Maryland Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence which she served and led as Co-Chair. The Council will not only provide legislative and policy recommendations for protecting Maryland against large scale cyber-attacks that can paralyze our government, economy and vital infrastructures, but also make Maryland the Epicenter of Cyber innovations and jobs, a knowledge base industry that will help the state globally compete and sustain its future.

Senator Lee also served as Co-Chair of the Nanobiotechnology Task Force and helped pass laws to assist biotech and IT small companies, including technology transfers and commercialization. During her tenure as Co-Chair of the Identity Theft Task Force, she authored and passed significant, first ever laws to fight identity theft and online crimes.

Serving two terms as President of the Women’s Legislative Caucus, Senator Lee led efforts to pass an aggressive agenda of laws to economically empower minorities, women, children and immigrants, fight domestic violence and human trafficking, and reduce health care disparities. She co-authored and passed Maryland’s first ever Telemedicine laws to increase Telemedicine which has a track record of saving lives, increasing health care access and early diagnosis, improving outcomes and reducing health care costs and disparities, particularly in underserved communities.

In addition to help passing laws to advance excellence in education, a clean environment, health care access, greater procurement opportunities by minority and women owned small businesses, public safety, and mass transit, this 2015 Session, Senator Lee authored and passed laws to fight domestic violence, home invasions, identity theft, and financial crimes against the elderly and vulnerable adults; assist human trafficking victims break out of the cycle of human slavery and exploitation; help crime victims obtain DNA evidence information; allow transgender individuals to obtain birth certificates with their correct gender identity; and help promote cybersecurity, innovation, and jobs.

Senator Lee, who was one of the founders and the first Chairman of the Coalition of Asian Pacific American Democrats of Maryland, is now spearheading efforts to create the Asian American and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus.

Senator Lee is the daughter of a World War II veteran of the US Navy and retired Washington Post artist and a proud product of the Montgomery County public schools, Leland Junior High School, Herbert Hoover Junior High and Winston Churchill High School. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park and University of San Francisco School of Law. Susan was a member of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board, Jewish Foundation for Group Homes Board, Montgomery County Gang Task Force, and Progressive Maryland and Co-Chair of the NAACP Multicultural Community Partnership. She was appointed to serve on the United States Patent and Trademark Advisory Board during the Clinton Administration.

Susan represents District 16, which includes Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, Potomac, Rockville, Cabin John, and Glen Echo. She and her husband live in Bethesda.

For more on Senator Lee’s legislative accomplishments, read her:

Gazette Endorses Susan Lee for Senate

Senator Brian Frosh and former Delegates Marilyn Goldwater and Bill Bronrott strongly endorse Susan Lee for State Senate
Senator Brian Frosh and former Delegates Marilyn Goldwater and Bill Bronrott strongly endorse Susan Lee for State Senate.

On October 8, the Gazette, Maryland;s community newspaper, made their choice clear for the State Senate seat in Maryland’s 16th District: “Susan C. Lee, a Bethesda Democrat, has served three terms in the House. We support her bid for the district’s Senate seat.”

They continued, “She says her priorities in the Senate would be similar to those she worked for in the House: more state money for schools, protecting the environment and supporting mass transit. Lee also has helped fight domestic violence by helping make it easier for victims to get protective orders and worked for stricter gun regulations.”

The Washington Post endorsed Susan Lee for the Democratic primary earlier this year, and the Post’s endorsements for the 2014 general election are due out shortly.

Gazette Highlights Susan Lee’s Record

Susan Lee for Senate

Lee Seeks Move from House to Senate
by Elizabeth Waibel, The Gazette, August 11, 2014.

With 12 years of experience under her belt, Del. Susan C. Lee thinks it’s the right time to represent her district in the Senate.

Lee, a Bethesda Democrat who has served in the House since 2002, said she can use the relationships she has in the House and the work she has done to advance policy goals in the Senate.

“I wanted to use my experience and accomplishments that I’ve gotten over the last 12 years … to build on that track record and do even more in the Senate for my constituents,” she said.

Lee got her chance to run for an open Senate seat in District 16 this year when Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D) of Chevy Chase ran for attorney general.

Lee is the deputy majority whip, serves on the House Judiciary Committee, and chairs the Family Law Committee. She counts among her top accomplishments her work with the women’s legislative caucus to devote funding to rape crisis centers; pass a law to keep people from using mistaken age a defense in child sex crimes; and make kidnapping a child for the purpose of human trafficking a felony.

“This will help prosecutors prosecute” human trafficking, she said.

Lee has also led commissions and task forces on cybersecurity, telemedicine and nanobiotechnology. She said she is considered a leader in passing laws to fight cybercrime and identity theft.

As more health records are stored electronically, she said, large-scale identity theft is a greater risk.

“It’s so easy now with technology to hack into a computer and steal health records,” she said, adding that stolen health records could lead to misdiagnoses and incorrect drug charges.

Cyber innovation also holds promise, however, and Lee said she wants to propose legislation to keep bioscience entrepreneurs in the state. Maryland could give innovators help commercializing their inventions, she said, or by giving tax credits to industries, or simply streamlining state processes that are cumbersome.

Like many legislative hopefuls, Lee expects education funding to continue to be a priority. She said the state can ensure kindergarten through 12th-grade funding and expand prekindergarten funding, as well as keep college affordable.

“We’ve made our tax system fairer, more progressive,” she said. “… We need to cut waste and duplication so that we can streamline processes” in the government, while balancing the budget.

Maryland has an opportunity to build on the innovation already happening in the state as the home to numerous federal agencies as well as science companies and colleges, Lee said, and legislators should prioritize support for those industries.

“We could be the epicenter of cybersecurity, as well as life sciences,” she said. “We could create all sorts of different jobs.”

Lee said she thinks she can do more in the Senate, which is smaller than the House, and forge bipartisan coalitions.

“I’ve worked with [the senators] before, and I know that now that I will be over there, I can work with them even more,” she said.

Susan Lee’s 2014 Legislative Record

Delegate Susan Lee, who has represented District 16 in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2002 and who now is running to represent the District as its next State Senator, completed another legislative session in 2014 with significant accomplishments in the fields of education, cyber security, minimum wage, and preservation of state wetlands. A copy of her 2014 Legislative Session Letter is available on her website.

Among the other bills written or co-sponsored by Susan Lee were bills to support emerging technologies, protect abused and neglected children, and expand the availability of pre-kindergarten.

“I appreciate the input and support received from so many of my constituents in the 16th District this year,” said Delegate Lee. “It has been my privilege to serve each of my Montgomery County neighbors in the Maryland General Assembly.”

Paid for and authorized by Friends of Susan C. Lee, P.O. Box 34283, Bethesda, MD 20827. Joseph D. Gebhardt, Treasurer  |  Contact the campaign