Prescription Drug Affordability Board Begins Work Curbing Drug Costs

On Monday, May 23rd, Maryland's Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) began its work to set caps on certain prescription drug costs. The Board, established in 2019 through House Bill 768/Senate Bill 759, is charged with conducting cost reviews, determining which prescription drugs pose affordability challenges, and setting upper payment limits. Payment limits set by the Board apply to state and local government entities only, including state and county correctional facilities, state hospitals, health clinics at…

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Garrett Receives Funding to Combat Youth Substance Abuse

The Garrett County Health Department receives its second year of Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Local Drug Crisis Grant funding. Initially awarded in 2021 with the help of Congressman David Trone, Garrett is the recipient of a five-year CARA grant worth $50,000 per year. The grant has supported the county's Drug-Free Communities Coalition program, charged with reducing and preventing substance abuse by promoting youth substance abuse prevention strategies. The program includes members of the county's…

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Baltimore City Boosts Fight Against Food Insecurity by $26 Million

Baltimore City is boosting its fight against food insecurity driven by the COVID-19 pandemic with an additional $11 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, bringing the City's total ARPA commitment to $26 million. During the pandemic, food insecurity rates across the City increased from 18% to 21.7%, with 33% of children being food insecure. Similarly, SNAP participation skyrocketed, rising from 25% of Baltimore City residents to over 33% (approximately 200,000 people). Baltimore City Mayor…

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Maryland Children Ages 5 to 11 Now Eligible for Boosters

Today, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) updated its guidance on vaccine eligibility to include COVID-19 boosters for children ages 5 to 11. The revised guidance states eligible children may only receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under an expanded Emergency Use Authorization announced earlier this week by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An eligible child should receive their booster at least five months after receiving their…

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Congressman Trone Secures $33 Million for Sixth District Community Projects

Congressman David Trone has helped secure $32,704,877 in funding for projects across Maryland's sixth congressional district, creating new jobs, delivering much-needed resources to Sixth District communities, and restoring neglected infrastructure. The Congressman requested and received funding for 15 projects in the 2023 fiscal year. He described the process for identifying project recipients across the sixth district, encompassing the westernmost portion of the state, in a press release: “As a businessman, I know how vital it is to…

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Baltimore City Aims to House 1,000 Homeless Families Through Fed Partnership

Baltimore City is partnering with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) for an initiative entitled "House America: An All-Hands-On-Deck Effort to Address the Nation’s Homelessness Crisis." House America will use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to promote a Housing First approach, immediately rehousing and creating a pipeline to build additional housing for people experiencing homelessness. For the 2022 calendar year, the City…

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COVID Roundup: Maryland’s Counties Remain Committed to Protecting Residents as Cases Rise

Across the state, the Maryland Department of Health's COVID-19 Data Dashboard details a noticeable uptick in COVID-19 cases, with a 7-day positivity rate of 8.12% and 2,770 new cases reported within the last 24 hours as of the morning of May 19th. Maryland's counties have remained active in combatting any potential surges. Some specific actions taken by our counties include the following: Anne Arundel has requested residents wear masks indoors, get boosted, and receive testing…

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Baltimore City Introduces SMART Policing Efficiency Initiative

Today, Baltimore City unveiled its Strategic Management & Alternative Response Tactics (SMART) initiative focusing on the intelligent deployment of law enforcement resources to more effectively combat violent crime. The initiative includes: Providing Alternatives to the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) – BPD will dispatch alternative responses, including social workers and third-party vendors, to certain non-emergency call types directly and discontinue dispatching to officers. Traffic Accident Management – The city will engage a third-party vendor to respond to…

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Montgomery’s Rent Cap Expires

On Sunday, May 15th, Montgomery County's cap on rent increases established by Council Bill #30-21E - Landlord-Tenant Relations - Restrictions During Emergencies - Extended Limitations Against Rent Increases and Late Fees expired.  Council Member Will Jawando introduced the law intended to assist struggling residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, capping rent increases throughout the county for 90 days, beginning on February 14, 2022. The law prohibited landlords from increasing rents beyond the county's voluntary rent guidelines, set…

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Amidst National Shortage, MD Dept. of Health Releases Baby Formula Guidance

On May 16th, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) released guidance for Maryland families seeking baby formula amidst a nationwide shortage. The shortage stems from a February recall of popular baby formula products produced by Abbott Nutrition, including Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare. In recent days, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken aggressive action to address the shortage, including an effort to boost baby formula imports and entering into a consent decree with Abbott Nutrition…

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