The Opioid Settlements: What is Opioid Remediation?

Through several opioid-related settlements, Maryland is set to receive hundreds of millions of dollars for "opioid remediation" - raising questions about what this term means and how this money is best spent. When nearly all of Maryland's counties signed on to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning how settlement funds will be distributed, they agreed to conditions governing how those funds would be expended. Specifically, a qualifying county may spend its allocation toward "any [prospective] use…

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Carroll Selects Police Accountability Board Members
Carroll County Board of County Commissioners - courtesy of the Maryland Manual On-Line Left to right: Dennis E. Frazier, Stephen A. Wantz, Edward C. Rothstein, C. Richard Weaver, Christopher E. Bouchat.
Carroll Selects Police Accountability Board Members

On Tuesday, September 27th, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners confirmed five members to the county’s first-ever police accountability board (PAB). Under the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, counties must establish PABs, Administrative Charging Committees (ACCs), and trial boards. PABs will receive complaints of police misconduct, review police disciplinary trends, and work with local law enforcement to improve policing. ACCs will receive investigatory reports of police misconduct and determine levels of discipline, whereas trial boards will…

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Aging in Place in Question?

A national shortage of healthcare workers threatens decades-old policies aimed at allowing older adults to age in place. According to the Washington Post, competition from other industries has shrunk the pool of available workers and lured away current workers. The article follows a recent report by the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) regarding a severe shortage of nurses and health technicians in hospital settings. Regarding hospital worker attrition, MHA noted "the stress of acute care, an…

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Montgomery State’s Attorney Tours Schools, Warns of Ghost Guns

On Saturday, September 24th, Bethesda Magazine published a piece chronicling Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy's efforts to educate students on gun safety issues, focusing on ghost guns. The State's Attorney is visiting each of Montgomery County's 26 high schools to “educate [the county's] high school students about how to keep schools and students safe.” Gun seizures have risen in the last year, with "907 guns [having] been seized in the county as of Sept. 11,"…

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Police Redistricting Moves Forward in Baltimore City
Baltimore City's Neighborhood - courtesy of the Baltimore City Health Department
Police Redistricting Moves Forward in Baltimore City

The Baltimore City Council has moved legislation modifying its police district boundaries to third reader, the final step before requiring Mayor Brandon M. Scott's signature. Council Bill 22-0257, entitled "Police Department of Baltimore City - Police Districts - Redistricting," became necessary after, in 2019, the Maryland General Assembly required the Baltimore City Police Commissioner to draft a police redistricting plan within one year of a decennial census conducted by the United States Census Bureau. Under…

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Homeland Security Finalizes Controversial Immigration Rule

On September 8th, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finalized a rule re-defining a "public charge," a controversial concept with substantial implications for state and local government services. At its most basic level, a public charge is a lawful non-citizen who must rely on government services for subsistence, and as a result, can be denied citizenship or legal residency (a green card). The new rule codifies what DHS describes as the "historical understanding of…

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Police Reform Update: Trial Board Training Takes Shape

Following July's letter from the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission (PTSC) outlining training standards for Administrative Charging Committees (ACCs), the agency has once again issued a letter - this time focusing on training for Trial Boards. Under the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, PABs review and oversee police misconduct complaints from the public, ACCs receive completed investigatory reports of police misconduct and determine levels of discipline, and trial boards hear appeals of any recommended discipline. In…

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Baltimore County Confirms Police Accountability Board Members

On Monday, September 19th, the Baltimore County Council provided near unanimous consent to County Executive Johnny Olszewski's nine nominees to the County's first-ever Police Accountability Board (PAB). As discussed in previous Conduit Street coverage, under the 2021 Police Accountability Act, each Maryland county must create several police oversight bodies, including an administrative charging committee (ACC), PAB, and trial board. PABs review and oversee police misconduct complaints from the public and ACCs receive completed investigatory reports…

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Meaghan Alegi to Head Harford’s Law Department

On Monday, September 19th, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman named Meaghan Alegi as acting director of the County’s Law Department. Ms. Alegi succeeds Melissa Lambert, who will serve as the Director of Legal Affairs for the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Ms. Lambert had led the Law Department for eight years and notably achieved a reversal on a 30-year-old rubble landfill case worth $45M. Moreover, earlier this year, she represented Harford during negotiations with the state…

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Correlation or Causation? Connecting Gun Laws and Suicides

In observation of Suicide Prevention Month, a recent Governing article identifies a strong correlation between state gun laws and elevated gun suicide rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its first-ever report on firearm deaths in May of this year. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the conditions underlying gun violence, including "changes and disruptions to services and education, mental stress, social isolation, and economic stressors, including job loss,…

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