Counties Oppose State Mandated Synthetic Turf Restrictions

MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified with a panel of county Parks & Recreations representatives before the House Appropriations Committee to oppose HB 1098 – Use of Public Funds – Playground and Athletic Field Surfaces – Authorizations, Preferences, and Prohibitions (Safe and Healthy Fields Act). This bill would impose an unnecessary restriction on the use of state funds, including Program Open Space (POS) monies, for the installation of synthetic or artificial turf playing fields and playground surfaces.

MACo panelists testifying to oppose included Kathy Burley (Harford County), Steve Miller (Wicomico County), Sue Simmons (Caroline County), Charissa Thomas (Somerset County), Raul Delerme (Howard County), Amanda Hof (Howard County), Jessica Leys (Anne Arundel County), and Tom Walls (Miracle League Harford County). Clyde Van Dyke of Cecil County and Gina MaClean of Howard County also submitted written testimony to oppose the bill.

From the MACo Testimony:

In the parks and recreation world, both natural and synthetic turf fields play important roles and MACo believes it should be up to each individual jurisdiction to determine which type of field best meets the needs of the jurisdiction and their residents. Restricting or discouraging the use of synthetic turf fields and playgrounds would place an unnecessary hardship on already limited local funds.

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