Ethics Rewrites Could Disadvantage Smaller Counties, Towns

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson and Maryland Municipal League Executive Director Scott Hancock testified to February 25, 2020 to oppose HB 1055 (CF SB 974) – Public Ethics – Lobbyists – Gift Exception and Regulated Activities Exemption. This bill would require a range of government employees and representatives to follow State ethics regulations currently applicable to registered private lobbyists. One portion of the bill singles out employees of representative associations, creating an unfair dichotomy between large and small governments.

From the MACo Testimony:

HB 1055, in this respect, misinterprets the role of governments, especially local governments, in the policy process. County officials and employees should be welcomed into the policymaking process for their insight and expertise. Association staff, essentially representing jurisdictions without the means to employ staff for these focused purposes, should be similarly recognized. At the federal level, a similar distinction has applied for decades – making the same recognition that Maryland law has for many years.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.