MACo advocates actively for policies to help confront the opioid crisis and to support county social services programs. The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s advocacy in the area of health and human services in the 2017 General Assembly.
Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.
MACo successfully supported passage of the “Start Talking Maryland Act, ” a bill to reduce overdose deaths and prevent addiction by focusing on Maryland’s public education system as a means for spreading awareness and providing necessary services. The bill also directs funding to mitigate costs associated with launching these programs. Senate Bill 1060/House Bill 1082 passed and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
MACo successfully added amendments to omnibus legislation that offers a comprehensive approach for addressing the continuing opioid overdose and addiction problem confronting communities across the state. MACo’s amendments to help ensure the bill achieves its goals without overburdening local resources. The General Assembly passed Senate Bill 967/House Bill 1329, the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act of 2017 with amendments, and it awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
MACo successfully supported passage of a bill to provide greater flexibility and increase resources to local governments for substance abuse treatment and related prevention, outreach, and maintenance efforts. Senate Bill 1194 passed the Senate but unfortunately did not advance out of the House committee before the General Assembly session came to an end. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
MACo supported a bill to provide easier access to naloxone, a medication that can counter an overdose, to individuals who are most able to assist someone at risk of dying from an opioid death when emergency medical services or first responders are not readily available. While Senate Bill 868/House Bill 791 did not advance out of committee, the essence of the bill was amended into Senate Bill 967/House Bill 1329, the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act of 2017. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
MACo supported a bill that enhances state and local tools to confront the opioid epidemic and helps improve the effectiveness of existing programs that help reduce overdose deaths and address addiction. While House Bill 1549 did not advance out of committee, provisions of the bill were amended into Senate Bill 967/House Bill 1329, the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act of 2017. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
MACo stopped a bill that would shift the critical responsibility of answering calls concerning child abuse and neglect from local departments of social services to the statewide 2-1-1 system. Senate Bill 945/House Bill 697 was well-intentioned but had practical shortcomings and was withdrawn by its sponsors. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
MACo successfully stopped a bill that would have a significant impact on Local Management Boards’ funding and decision-making authority when it comes to oversight of the Youth Services Bureaus. Senate Bill 784 did not advance out of committee and its crossfile, House Bill 1187 was withdrawn by its sponsor. Bill Information | MACo Coverage