The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of parks and recreation 2022 General Assembly.
County government parks and recreation departments provide a range of public recreation programs for all segments of the population and maintain a large network of open spaces throughout Maryland. MACo’s advocacy seeks to support the efforts of county parks and recreations by urging state and federal funding support and defending local determination of priorities in parks and recreation.
The unique circumstances surrounding the 444th legislative session, including necessary health and safety measures, posed a challenge for lawmakers and advocates alike. Yet, despite the unusual circumstances, MACo’s advocacy still led to more positive outcomes for its members.
MACo supported HB 727 / SB 541. The bill would make broad and historic investments in Maryland’s State Parks to improve service and accessibility. HB 727 / SB 541 Natural Resources – Maryland Park Service and State Parks – Alterations (Great Maryland Outdoors Act) passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
New Programs and Requirements
MACo opposed HB 1332 / SB 680. This bill requires local parks departments to use local Program Open Space funds to purchase specific communication board technology for their recreation facilities. HB 1332 / SB 680 State and Local Parks – Playground Accessibility – Communication Boards failed in the General Assembly.
MACo opposed SB 56. This bill injects an unwarranted and potentially detrimental General Assembly approval stage into the local designation of projects and offerings under Program Open Space. SB 56 Program Open Space – Local Plans and Programs – General Assembly Approval failed in the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.