Session Update: Public Safety Legislation

This post summarizes the status of various public safety bills that MACo either considered or took a position on.

Correctional Training CommissionSB 63 is a departmental bill that grants the Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services increased control over the appointment of the executive directors and staff  for the Correctional Training Commission and the Police Training Commission.  Status:  After opposition from MACo and local corrections administrators, the Secretary withdrew the bill and pledged to work more closely with MACo and local corrections officials over the interim.

Certification of Local Law Enforcement Officers to Provide Emergency Medical Services:  HB 215 is a departmental bill that exempts a law enforcement officer from the general requirement that an individual may not provide emergency medical services in the State unless the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMMS) has issued the individual a license or certificate.  As introduced, the bill would have required a law enforcement officer to successfully complete a law enforcement medical care course approved by MIEMMS.  Status:  MACo supported the bill with amendments clarifying that a law enforcement officer could meet the training requirement for the exemption by completing a nationally recognized course, even if it was not approved by MIEMMS.  MIEMMS worked with MACo on joint amendments and the bill has passed the House with the agreed-upon amendments. MACo Testimony

State Reimbursement For Inmates Sentenced to Local Jail Facilities:  MACo supported HB 504 / SB 118, which prohibits a judge from sentencing an individual to a local correctional facility for longer than 12 months (current law is 18 months).  The bill was introduced to educate the Judiciary and Judicial Proceedings committees about last-minute change to a long-standing State reimbursement formula for inmates being held in local jails that was done without notice or debate in the closing days of the 2009 Session.  Status:  Given the fiscal cost to the State, the bills received unfavorable reports in both the House and Senate.  MACo recognized the bills never had a chance of passing and were primarily “message” bills to let the policy committees know about the ramifications of the formula change, which they never had the chance to consider.  Through the efforts of both MACo and the Maryland Correctional Administrators Association, the House Judiciary Committee will send a letter this week to Governor O’Malley discussing restoration of the reimbursement formula. MACo Testimony

Administrative Enforcement of Parking Violations:  MACo supported HB 577 / SB 301, which authorizes a local government to create an administrative system for the issuance and adjudication of parking citations.  Many other states and cities have adopted such a system, which makes the process more efficient and relieves caseload stress on the court system.  Status:  Citing concerns over the criteria that would ensure the impartiality of the administrative body charged with adjudicating parking violations, the bills received unfavorable reports in both the House and Senate. MACo Testimony

Inmate Health Care Costs for Local JailsSB 855 provides that local jails are not responsible for paying inmate health care costs where the inmate has a pre-existing condition or for injuries that are self-inflicted.  MACo did not take a position on the bill but the bill was supported by local correctional officials.  Status:  The bill was heard on March 22 by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and it is unlikely the Committee will pass the bill. MACo Previous Blog Coverage

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