The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of intergovernmental relations in the 2023 General Assembly.
In addition to the swearing-in of a new governor, the 445th legislative session kicked off with more relaxed health and safety measures compared to the turbulence of the last few years. This enabled MACo’s policy team to dynamically engage with private-sector stakeholders, legislators, and representatives from all divisions of government. Under these more conventional circumstances, MACo’s advocacy led to a plethora of favorable outcomes for its members.
Changes to Local Laws
MACo supported HB182/SB335. This bill authorizes a county or municipality to execute and record a restrictive covenant modification to an unlawfully restrictive covenant if the subject property is within the boundaries of the county or municipality and specified notice requirements are satisfied. A person with an ownership interest in the property may decline to have the modification executed and recorded by notifying the county or municipality within 30 days after the date of the required notice. HB 182/SB335 Real Property – Unlawfully Restrictive Covenants – Modification by Counties or Municipalities passed the General Assembly.
MACo opposed HB688. This bill requires the county commissioners or county council of a county to approve a referendum request for municipal incorporation if a valid petition is presented by at least 40% of the registered voters who are residents of the unincorporated area. HB688 Municipal Incorporation – County Commissioners or County Council – Required Approval of Referendum Request failed in the General Assembly.
Medical Services & Transportation
MACo supported HB596/SB511. This bill establishes a State Coordinating Committee for Health and Human Services Transportation in the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and repeals the limits on annual funding for the Maryland Senior Rides Program (MSRP) and the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program (JARCP) administered by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). SB 511/HB 596 Health and Human Services Transportation Improvement Act of 2023 passed the General Assembly.
MACo supported HB 274/SB387 with amendments. This bill establishes the Task Force on Reducing Emergency Department Wait Times. By January 1, 2024, the Task Force must submit a report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly. HB 274/SB 387 Task Force on Reducing Emergency Department Wait Times failed in the General Assembly.
MACo supported HB788/SB414. This bill was a MACo Legislative Initiative and establishes the Commission to Advance and Strengthen Fire Fighting and Emergency Medical Services Within Maryland. The commission must study and make recommendations regarding the effectiveness and viability of uniform incentives, offerings, or practices employed in other states to attract, support, and retain individuals in fire fighting and emergency medical services roles; the suitability of comparable or similar incentives, offerings, and practices as compared to the landscape of the State; and any other global issues the commission may consider useful in enhancing and supporting career and volunteer fire fighting and emergency medical services in the State. SB 414/HB 788 Commission to Advance and Strengthen Fire Fighting and Emergency Medical Services Within Maryland passed the General Assembly.
MACo supported HB1252. This bill expands the purpose of the Volunteer Company Assistance Fund to include ensuring adequate emergency medical services in the State and the authorized uses for a loan or grant from the fund, as specified. The bill also alters the annual reporting requirements related to the fund. HB 1252 Public Safety – Volunteer Company Assistance Fund failed in the General Assembly.