Preemption, PIA, and “Green Amendment” Hot Topics for Maryland Government Attorneys

The State and Local Government Section of the Maryland State Bar Association met to discuss the 2019 General Assembly Session and legislation of interest in their practice area.

At a regular meeting of the Maryland State Bar Association’s section for State and local government attorneys, the group heard a review of the 2019 Session from Delegates Marc Korman and Trent Kittleman, MACo’s Research Director Robin Clark Eilenberg, the Maryland Municipal League’s Government Relations Manager Bill Jorch, and the Maryland State Bar Association’s Legislative Director Richard Montgomery.

Delegate Marc Korman of Montgomery County
Delegate Trent Kittleman of Howard and Carroll Counties

Panelists discussed:

  • Education funding and the “Blueprint” legislation
  • Leadership changes in the House of Delegates
  • The State’s budget outlook
  • The new Next Generation 9-1-1 funding law
  • Workers’ compensation presumption expansion for firefighters
  • Medical cannabis and government employer drug policies
  • Small cells and 5G negotiated agreements
  • Legislation to shift attorney fees in government liability cases

The topic greatest interest and follow-up included a bill that would have de-categorized formal complaints against government employees as personnel records inherently protected by the Maryland Public Information Act with the group, including attorneys who have represented public safety officers, sharing concerns. Another topic of interest was a Constitutional Amendment to create standing to sue for environmental rights. While neither of these topics advanced in the General Assembly this year (their respective bills failed), they are both likely to return in the 2020 session.

Finally, a discussion of the Court of Special Appeals’ reinstatement of a Montgomery County pesticide law revealed interest in the area of implied preemption of local government laws.

The event was held in Columbia, Maryland.

Find out more about the State and Local Government Section of the Maryland State Bar Association.

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