Catch up on all of the latest outcomes of the 2023 Maryland General Assembly session with wrap-ups on important county-related bills in each policy area.
In addition to the swearing-in of a new governor, comptroller, attorney general, and legislators alike, the 445th legislative session kicked off with more relaxed health and safety measures compared to the turbulence of the last few years. With the 2023 session in the books, it’s time to take stock.
As always, MACo’s advocacy led to more positive outcomes for its members. Bills that MACo supported were more likely to pass, while bills MACo opposed had a greater tendency to fail. MACo also helped improve many pieces of legislation by articulating county positions in amendments and will continue to work with State partners in several areas of ongoing administrative improvement.
Some of the big wins for the 2023 session include a successful MACo initiative to give counties the option to access necessary provisions for implementing a body-worn camera program via contracts negotiated by the Department of General Services on behalf of state and local law enforcement agencies. The forthcoming mandate that each county law enforcement officer be equipped with a body-worn camera carries a significant expense for the equipment and secure storage of the resulting footage. The ability to piggyback on state contracts avoids a mass duplication of effort or the potential for individual counties to incur the kind of premiums that often accompany single-user contracts.
MACo also successfully supported legislation establishing the Commission to Advance and Strengthen Fire Fighting and Emergency Medical Services Within Maryland to craft a broad menu of policy options and recommendations to help bolster firefighting and EMS recruitment and retention. In addition, MACo successfully advocated for eliminating the antiquated, inefficient, and confusing constant yield tax law — a significant win for local government and taxpayers alike.
While MACo successfully guarded against costly mandates and preemptive regulations, several bills were improved and passed with MACo amendments to protect county resources and defend local autonomy.
The “one county, one vote” system of deciding the Association’s legislative strategies ensures that all counties have an equal voice. All 24 jurisdictions participated in weekly virtual and in-person meetings throughout the legislative session — where they also engaged with policy leaders and advocates who joined the meetings to address county leadership.
Our policy staff has compiled updates and results on all of the bills the Legislative Committee decided to take action on this year.
For the 2023 End of Session Wrap-Up for each subject MACo covers, click below:
Questions about MACo’s legislative positions or successes? Contact Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally.