MACo Opposes Preemptive Standards for Local Corrections Facilities

MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu submitted testimony February 25, 2020 to oppose HB 677 (CF SB 850) – Correctional Services – Immigration Detention – Prohibition (Dignity Not Detention Act). This bill limits the manner in which counties may operate their local detention facilities in regards to federal immigration detention and could have significant consequences on their ability to manage local jail operations.

It is MACo’s general policy to oppose legislation that imposes a state standard upon local personnel practices, limits county land use authority, or requires counties to deliver (or not deliver) local services in specific ways.

From the MACo Testimony:

It would prohibit the continued operation of long held federal contracts and agreements that have been locally assessed and implemented. These arrangements, between levels of government, undergo appropriate local scrutiny for safety and potential community impact. Such management of county jail contracts and policies should be left to the discretion of those counties.

Counties recognize the difficult decisions the State faces regarding a range of immigration related proposals, however, urge caution against passing legislation that may have other far-reaching consequences on the authority of local governments to manage their operations.

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