Baltimore City Releases Child Fatality Review Report

On Friday, January 21st, Baltimore City published its 2021 Child Fatality Review Report. The report analyzes and compiles data regarding deaths of City residents under the age of 17 for the purposes of determining what interventions should be put in place to effectively prevent future fatalities. Mayor Brandon M. Scott discussed the CFR report's findings and recommendations in a press release: “As a city, we continue to lose too many of our young people to violence and…

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State Assembles More COVID Testing Sites, Makes Progress Against Omicron

On Thursday, January 20th, Governor Larry Hogan detailed progress of the state's fight against the COVID-19 Omicron variant. According to the Governor, case rates are declining and the state has mobilized even further in response to the recent Omicron-related surge, including adding new testing sites, distributing additional masks, and providing additional funding for health care providers. The Administration highlighted several key facts and statistics charting the state's progress against Omicron: COVID-19 cases in Maryland are…

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AG Pens Revised Opioid Settlement Agreement for County Review, Opt-In Decisions
Attorney General Brian Frosh moderates MACo's session on water law
AG Pens Revised Opioid Settlement Agreement for County Review, Opt-In Decisions

After months of discussion, the Attorney General's Office, alongside a workgroup of MACo and Maryland Municipal League representatives, submitted a revised memorandum of understanding (MOU) to county leadership regarding the distribution of funds from the Johnson and Johnson opioid medication lawsuit. Under an extended deadline, counties have until January 26 to make a final decision whether to "opt in" and accept the terms of the settlement, and withdraw any current or future litigation claims. The…

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Counties Urge Balanced Release of Body Camera Footage

On January 19, 2022, Associate Policy Director D'Paul Nibber submitted testimony to the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in support of SB 31 Public Information Act – Inspection of Records From Body–Worn Digital Recording Devices. The bill would implement a balanced release of police body camera video. MACo suggests a balance must be struck between police accountability, the privacy and safety of victims, and government resources. From the MACo testimony: If properly implemented, police body cameras can help provide…

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Responding to COVID: Masks for Marylanders and More Testing Sites

The state is launching an effort to distribute N95 and KN95 masks at no cost to Marylanders beginning next week. Governor Larry Hogan discussed the effort while touring a new state-run COVID-19 testing site at the University of Maryland's Shore Regional Health facility, which will be joined by five additional testing sites across the state. The Governor further emphasized the need for Marylanders to get vaccinated and socially distance in a press release: “We are encouraging all…

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Governor Hogan’s Policing Initiative and Maryland’s Counties

On Monday, January 10th, Governor Larry Hogan detailed a series of policing initiatives his office intends to pursue during the 2022 Maryland General Assembly (MGA) session. The package will likely impact local governments significantly, particularly with respect to county budgets. According to a press release, the initiative will include the following for counties and local communities: $220 million for historic salary increases and bonuses for law enforcement officers to help ensure more competitive compensation and to help with…

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$140 Million Available to Cover Household Energy Costs

$143,357,536 in American Rescue Plan funding will be applied toward assisting eligible Maryland families seeking to cover utility costs and stay warm this winter. Several members of Maryland's Congressional Delegation, including U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen David Trone, Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, and Jamie Raskin, helped deliver the funding to bolster the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for fiscal year 2022 (October…

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3 Additional EMS Units Slated for Carroll

On Thursday, January 6th, the Carroll County Commissioners voted to expand their Emergency Medical Services (EMS) fleet by three units to be used for the remainder of Maryland's COVID-19 State of Emergency. According to the Baltimore Sun, the costs will be covered by federal grant funds. The Sun notes, "an EMS unit is comprised of at least two employees, typically an emergency medical technician (EMT) and a paramedic, or two EMTs if a medic is…

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State to Open 10 New COVID-19 Testing Sites

Today, the first of ten planned state-run COVID-19 testing sites became operational at the University of Maryland (UM) Laurel Medical Center. Governor Larry Hogan toured the Laurel site and discussed the need for additional hospital-based testing sites in a press release: “One of the primary goals of these locations is to ease the burden on the hospitals and emergency rooms,” said Governor Hogan. “We are already getting reports that their emergency room traffic for testing…

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30-Day COVID-19 State of Emergency Declared

Today, Governor Larry Hogan declared a 30-day State of Emergency concerning the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. The declaration is followed by several executive orders and other actions intended to protect and increase health care resources including the activation of the National Guard, establishing new testing sites, and expanding the emergency medical services (EMS) workforce. Governor Hogan discussed the urgency behind the State of Emergency in a press release: “The truth is that the next…

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