ANNAPOLIS — Speaking just hours before the start of the legislative session, the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders said Wednesday that they will work to prevent in the Senate and House the sexual harassment that has been brought to light in the past year in many spheres of American industry.
“This is a societal problem and I think we are dealing with it more strongly than any other legislature in the country,” Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. said at the Annapolis Summit, sponsored by The Daily Record and hosted by Marc Steiner. “We take this very seriously, I mean very seriously.”
House Speaker Michael E. Busch called sexual harassment a “serious issue. It is something we are very cognizant of.”
Miller and Busch said legislators and staff receive training in preventing, recognizing and reporting sexual harassment.
“Some of the men don’t even realize their actions are being seen as harassment,” Busch said.
The legislative leaders also addressed violent crime in Baltimore, with the senate president calling for more police and the speaker urging a greater focus on societal remedies, including job training and improved public transportation.
“Public safety has to be addressed and it has t be addressed immediately,” Miller said. “We are undermanned. There’s not enough police on the blocks and that has to be addressed along with the social issues.”
Busch said more trade schools and a more viable transportation system to get people to their jobs would contribute to reducing violence in Baltimore.
“I don’t think just locking people up is the answer to anything,” Busch said. “You have to entice people into a marketplace where they are going to get a decent living and a decent salary.”
This story will be updated.