Will 2021 Bring a Wave of Evictions?

The General Assembly considered, but did not pass, legislation to codify Maryland's current policy staving off evictions of lease-holding tenants -  advocates worry that may open the door to widespread "failure to pay" evictions. Among the subjects of extensive government assistance has been renter relief - seeking to avoid massive tenant evictions while many Americans have lost their regular incomes due to economic disruptions of the pandemic. The rights of tenants "holding over" after the…

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Sweeping Police Reforms Passed, Await Governor’s Action

Following extended debate across both chambers, the General Assembly passed a suite of bills intended to add to police accountability and standards. The mostly party-line vote has stakeholders awaiting the Governor's action on the several proposals. Police reforms have gathered public attention for many months, and Maryland is among many states contemplating broad reforms to discipline and accountability for officers. Following a complex, and sometimes contentious, debate on multiple bills, the General Assembly finally passed…

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Counties Central on Post-Pandemic Mental Health Efforts

A report from NACo and the National Council for Behavioral Health details county governments role in mental health services, and illustrates a clinic-based model for that approach that may be well-suited for the post-pandemic environment. This article is drawn from our partners at the National Association of Counties, whose blog routinely contains topics of major interest to Maryland counties. America’s 3,069 counties are integral to the nation’s behavioral health system, making fiscal investments in both…

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Schrader Confirmed as Maryland Health Secretary

New State Health Secretary Dennis Schrader was confirmed by the Senate to assume his full role, following dense vaccine oversight meetings throughout the session. Dennis Schrader, now formally the Maryland Secretary of Health, received his full confirmation of the Senate on Friday April 2. The approval came toward the end of the legislative session, where public health matters, and COVID vaccinations in particular, have occupied much public attention and concern. Whie the final vote on…

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Charles Burkett Confirmed as New Washington County Commissioner

Charles Burkett, Governor Hogan's nominee to fill the vacant Washington County Commissioner seat on the recommendation of the county GOP central committee, was confirmed by the Senate and now takes the seat as Commissioner. Charles Burkett, Jr. was confirmed unanimously by the Senate on Friday, April 2, to serve as Washington County Commissioner. His nomination by Governor Hogan, following the recommendation of the Washington County Republican Central Committee, was passed by the Senate in their…

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Police Reforms Moving Toward Senate/House Agreement

A complex package of police reform and accountability proposals appear to be moving toward a resolution in the days ahead. Among the most widely-watched topics in Annapolis (and in State Houses across the country) this year is legislative reforms to law enforcement oversight. With pressure from multiple stakeholders continuing well after the widespread demonstrations during the summer of 2020, the Maryland General Assembly now appears to have a plan coming together, with multiple bills advancing.…

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Kirwan “Blueprint 2.0” Follow-up Bill Passed, Sent on to Governor

HB 1372, the follow-up bill adjusting multiple facets of the Kirwan Blueprint school plan, accommodating both the effects of the pandemic and the veto/override timetable, has passed the General Assembly. The "fix up" bill tending to multiple facets of the 2020 Kirwan Blueprint for Maryland's Future has passed, after receiving amendments in both chambers. The House has accepted the Senate changes, and the bill will be sent to Governor Hogan for his approval. Thus far,…

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MD’s COVID Vax Opening to All Adults; County Equity Plans Due April 5

During the Governor's COVID/vaccination press announcements, he opened up pre-registration to all Maryland adults to be vaccinated, and urged counties to submit locally designed vaccination equity plans. From today's announcements, courtesy of the Governor's office: COUNTY EQUITY PLANS DUE BY MONDAY, APRIL 5 MDH has directed all local health officers to submit equity plans to the state no later than Monday, April 5. In February, the state asked each county to appoint a liaison to the Maryland…

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Federal Eviction Moratorium Extended Through June 30

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an extension of its public health driven moratorium on residential evictions, through June 30, 2021. The order, issued March 29, extends these temporary provisions as a response to the ongoing pandemic. The CDC has extended its moratorium on residential evictions through June 30 of this year, through action taken today. The full order details the background and underpinnings of the decision, and offers insight into the…

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Maryland’s Health Officers: Improve Vaccine Distribution Equity

On March 22, the Equity Committee of the Maryland Association of County Health Officers (MACHO) sent a letter to Maryland Acting Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Jinlene Chan, M.D. urging the Maryland Department of Health to take action to improve vaccine distribution equity. The letter also asked the state health department to lay the foundation for longer-term work to address the systemic influences on equity. The actions were identified as follows: Provide a detailed…

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