Vox Highlights Maryland’s Unique Health Care System

An article in Vox delves into Maryland's unique hospital cost control and care systems, and how these regulations have become models for other states. From Vox: Maryland is the site of two big experiments in containing health care costs. The first: Since the 1970s, the state has set the prices hospitals can charge for medical care, known as all-payer rate setting. The second experiment: Since 2014, it’s also capped how much health spending can grow overall,…

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Baltimore County Passes SAFE Act for Gun Store Security

Spurred by a spat of gun store burglaries, Baltimore County has passed the Secure All Firearms Effectively (SAFE) Act. The act sets security standards for gun stores and sets a license requirement for temporary gun shows. The Baltimore Sun reports: The proposal would require gun shops and shows to install alarm systems registered with the county and video systems. Shops also would have to install bollards or another physical barrier to prevent burglars from using…

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Maryland’s Overdose Numbers Show a Third Quarter Decline

The Opioid Operational Command Center's 2019 third-quarter report found an overall slight decline in opioid deaths. However, while some areas in the state saw declines other saw there overdose numbers increase. The bottom line is the work to battle the opioid crisis must continue. From the third-quarter report: Between January and September 2019, there were 1,574 opioid-related fatalities in Maryland. These fatalities accounted for 88.7 percent of the 1,774 total intoxication deaths in the same…

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OOCC Releases New Opioid Action Plan

The Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) has released the 2020 Maryland Inter-Agency Opioid Coordination Plan. From the coordination plan: Opioids have presented Maryland with a dire and unprecedented crisis – a crisis that stole the lives of more than 2,000 citizens in both 2017 and 2018. The effects of opioids on our state have been far reaching, and no jurisdiction or citizen has been spared from their wrath. We are thankful that 2019 brought Maryland…

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Prince George’s, NAACP File Suit Against U.S. Census Bureau

The NAACP and Prince George's County have sued the U.S. Census Bureau on the grounds that the agency's preparations have been insufficient for the 2020 census. From WBAL: The civil rights group and Prince George’s County, a majority African American county in Maryland, filed the lawsuit last Friday in federal court in Maryland. It claims the Census Bureau wasn’t planning to put enough workers in the field and hadn’t opened up a sufficient number of…

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Economic Opportunity Could Help Opioid Recovery Efforts in Rural Areas

Appalachia has been hard hit by the opioid crisis and local officials are taking deep looks at all the obstacles and opportunities in the path of abating the crisis. One issue they are keying in on -- jobs and economic opportunity. Route Fifty reports on a recent summit of Applachian officials: “If you’ve got a society of addiction, how do you change that addiction?” Greg Puckett, a commissioner for Mercer County, West Virginia, said at…

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OP-ED: Cities and Counties Embrace a Local Path Forward for 5G, Reject Preemption

In an op-ed piece in  The Daily Record's Annapolis Summit 2020 MACo and MML highlight how cities and counties across the state are providing a path forward for 5G small cells on a local level and why statewide preemption bills are not needed: Maryland’s cities and counties are 5G ready! Nearly 50 jurisdictions in Maryland have already enacted local ordinances or regulations governing small cells, and dozens more are pending. In fact, thousands of small…

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Federal Grants to Help Baltimore Region Fight Crime

Baltimore City and Baltimore County have been awarded $4.6 million in federal grants to help fight crime. WBAL reports: The funding is going to 11 different initiatives in Baltimore city and county to fight crime, opioid abuse and enhance community policing. It's considered part of a comprehensive strategy to fight crime and keep Baltimore City and Baltimore County citizens safe. Maryland's U.S. senators and congressmen announced $4.6 million in federal grants. The funding was announced…

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FCC Begins Rulemaking on 988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline

The FCC has begun formal rulemaking on 988 -- a three-digit number that would allow people to connect with crisis centers in times of a mental health emergency much like they can connect with first responders when using 911 for a general emergency. From Yahoo News: Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255). That number routes callers to one of 163 crisis centers, where counselors answered 2.2 million calls last year.…

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New Jersey to Have Adult Use Marijuana on State’s 2020 Ballot

New Jersey lawmakers have approved putting adult-use cannabis before state voters on the 2020 ballot. The measure passed with a supermajority of the State Senate and Assembly. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports: In recent polls, 60% of New Jersey’s voters indicated they favored legalizing cannabis for recreational use. If approved by the voters, New Jersey would become the 11th state, along with the District of Columbia, to legalize recreational marijuana. .. If voters approve the referendum…

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