Counties Ask for Continuity if Waste Disposal Streamlining Initiative Moves Forward

On February 8, 2023, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko submitted testimony to the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 0161 – Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority – Evaluation and Termination of Bond Authority (Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority Sunset Act) with amendments.

This bill would prohibit the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority (the Authority) from issuing new bonds beginning in June 2023, and would require the Department of Legislative Services to study whether the Authority should continue operations in its current form, or be absorbed by another entity. The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) applauds HB 0161’s intent to analyze government processes and streamline public service, but advises the General Assembly to consider amendments that ensure continuity of service and the preservation of robust stakeholder engagement should the Authority be absorbed.

From the MACo Testimony:

It is a smart exercise of public policy to analyze government processes to eliminate waste or discover more efficient ways to deliver public services. As responsible stewards of public funds, counties often conduct their own reviews and work to streamline where necessary. HB 161 seeks such an end, studying ways to either make the Authority more efficient or absorb the Authority into a new entity that can offer the same services at a reduced cost. Counties support the intent of HB 161 and suggest two friendly amendments to further this end:

1. The bill should fully ensure the continuation of services should the Authority be
dissolved or somehow otherwise become unable to perform its obligations. While
counties are flexible regarding the vehicle of service delivery, it is critical that there be
no interruption to any current services provided by the Authority.

2. The Authority currently has a robust system for stakeholder engagement with its
member counties. Counties ask that the DLS study include language examining ways
that a new entity may be able to replicate a high level of stakeholder and
intergovernmental engagement and direction.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2023 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database

Learn more about MACo’s 2023 Legislative Initiatives

Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog