The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the policy areas of emergency services and intergovernmental relations in the 2020 General Assembly.
County governments lead the delivery of public safety services in Maryland – with responsibility for county fire, police, and emergency services. MACo’s advocacy in the area of emergency services includes urging needed state support for county public safety services such as 9-1-1 call centers, front-line county services, and natural disaster response; as well as ensuring that all first responders have the flexibility, support, and technology needed to execute their missions.
This year, for the first time in since the Civil War, the General Assembly closed session early on March 18, due to precautionary social distancing measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. Consequently, many bills did not have hearings or did not move forward due to time constraints to meet the new deadline. For more information on Maryland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic visit MACo’s COVID-19 Resource Page.
Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.
Next Generation 9-1-1
MACo strongly supported legislation that establishes the necessary framework to ensure that 9-1-1 fees are collected and remitted in accordance with state law by requiring telecommunications providers to keep records of 9-1-1 fees collected and remitted for at least four years. This legislation also properly shifts auditing responsibilities to the Office of the Comptroller, who is tasked with adopting and distributing procedures for auditing and remittance of the fees. Counties see this legislation as another step to ensure the successful implementation of the Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) system. Public Safety – 9-1-1 Fees – Audits passed both chambers and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported legislation that ensures that state and local 9-1-1 revenues are allocated exclusively to support the twenty-four legislatively mandated county 9-1-1 centers, which is necessary for providing a statewide, uniform transition to NG911. The bill also establishes necessary standards and protocols for public safety telecommunicators across Maryland. Public Safety – 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System passed both the House and the Senate and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported legislation to extend the sunset for the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland in order to monitor and report on the progress toward the implementation and evolution of NG911. Specifically, the Commission will be tasked with assessing the revised financing structure and its propriety for next-generation demands, ensuring that all applicable fees and charges are properly remitted to the State and local jurisdictions, recommending policies to protect against cybersecurity threats, and evaluating the overall implementation of Carl Henn’s Law. Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland – Extension and Alteration passed out of both chambers and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported legislation that would update state laws to protect against telephone misuse and sophisticated cyber-attacks that pose a significant threat to the security and stability of Maryland’s 9-1-1 system. Criminal Law – Public Safety – Interference With Agencies and Services – Prohibitions did not move out of committee in either the Senate or House following the public hearings.
2026 FIFA World Cup
MACo supported a joint resolution to declare the General Assembly’s support for Maryland’s bid to host matches during the 2026 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup. This is a historic opportunity to showcase our region, promote tourism, and stimulate economic growth. 2026 FIFA World Cup – Protection of Human Rights passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported a joint resolution to affirm that all practical efforts should be made to ensure a full, fair, and accurate count of all Maryland residents on Census Day, April 1, 2020. Moreover, the joint resolution strongly encouraged all Marylanders to participate fully in the 2020 census. Participation by Maryland Residents in the 2020 Census did not advance did not move forward due to time constraints related to the precautionary social distancing measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19.