Health Officers’ Employment Bill Voted Out of House with County Amendments

Delegate Pena-Melnyk, Courtesy of Maryland State Archives
Delegate Pena-Melnyk, Courtesy of Maryland State Archives

Delegate Pena-Melnyk’s bill to alter the process by which county health officers are hired was voted favorably out of the House, March 15. MACo initially opposed the HB 874 as too prescriptive, however after working with the lead sponsor of the bill and stakeholders from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) as well as the local health officers, amendments were introduced in committee that significantly pared down the effects of the bill.

The amended bill would require the governing body of a county to consult with DHMH to determine a process for filling a vacancy for the position of health officer when one occurs. The amended bill makes no changes to the removal process of a health officer, but would require that any meetings and documents related to the removal of a health officer are closed and confidential, similar to personnel actions in nearly all other cases.

For more information see the bill page, view the MACo position statement, or read the full bill text.

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