Washington County’s Delegation Discusses Priorities of Local Officials

Washington County’s Delegation in the Maryland General Assembly met with local elected officials this week to discuss legislative priorities for the upcoming session.  As reported by herald-mail.com,

One change Washington County wants to pursue in the next state legislative session is how police officers may respond to calls for help.

Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore has proposed that police from various agencies in Washington County be allowed to answer calls outside their jurisdictions if it’s an emergency or if the geographic borders were unclear.

Local officials are also advocating for changes to the disparity grant, a state wealth-based grant program. The disparity grant program provides noncategorical State aid to low-wealth jurisdictions for county government purposes.  In fiscal 2010, a cap was placed on the program which holds funding at the fiscal 2010 level for eligible jurisdictions and precludes new jurisdictions from becoming eligible although they meet the specified grant criteria.   If the cap were removed, Washington County would be eligible for funding through the program.

Other legislative priorities include:

…asking for state authorization to borrow $60 million for its Capital Improvement Plan through 2018.  The county periodically asks for permission to borrow again as its pool of bond money dwindles.

…requesting a new payment in lieu of taxes system for technology-related businesses, a clarification to the definition of amusement devices and continued support for local management boards, which monitor child and family services, according to the Maryland Manual.

…requesting technical changes to the mandated process of reviewing county salaries every four years.

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