Police Radio Bill Leads Coverage of Governor’s Legislative Agenda

This week in Annapolis the Governor’s Administration introduced SB338/HB308, a bill to create an inclusive and collaborative governance structure for the statewide public safety radio system, MD First.  The bill establishes a Statewide Interoperability Radio Control Board with membership from state and local agencies that participate in the interoperable radio system. Establishing such a body was a legislative priority for MACo this session.  We are pleased to have the support of Governor on this public safety initiative, and the positive press of the initiative in recent news coverage.

The Associated Press noted the initiative first in the line-up of the Governor’s legislative agenda, giving top billing to the “efforts to create a unified communications network for first responders across Maryland” in coverage that was then picked up by news sources nationwide including NBC Washington, The Washington Post, Washington Times, The Capital-GazetteThe Anchorage Daily News, Fox Baltimore, and the Kansas City Star, among others.

As published in the Washington Times,

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)— Gov. Martin O’Malley wants to advance efforts to create a unified communications network for first responders across Maryland as part of a legislative package released Monday that includes measures to help prevent domestic violence and a proposal to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2016.

Last year, Maryland’s Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (a group established via Executive Order, not statute) formally recommended that a radio governance board with membership from both State and local agencies be established to oversee the network.  MACo adopted Collaborative Radio Governance as a priority for the 2014 Legislative Session after the eastern shore counties of Caroline, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, and Kent brought the need for radio governance board to MACo’s attention.  Since MACo formally adopted its priorities this fall, county governments and the public safety community have offered overwhelming support for this initiative.

Counties look forward to working with the Governor’s Office to legislatively establish Maryland’s Radio Governance Board this Session.

For more information on the Governor’s agenda, see O’Malley to Release Legislative Agenda from NBC Washington, and O’Malley releases legislative agenda from the Washington Post, and the sources linked above.

For more information on MACo’s public safety initiative, see these previous posts on Conduit Street, Governor Will Sponsor Police Radio Bill, Interoperability Committee Discusses Radio Governance BoardInteroperable Communications: A Public Safety Priority, Legislative Committee Discusses Statewide 700 MHz Public Safety Radio System.