Webinar: COVID-19 and Policymakers in Local Governments

Johns Hopkins Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement for the Bloomberg School of Public Health Dr. Josh Sharfstein to host a webinar for local government staff and officials on COVID-19, Monday, March 23 at 3 pm. Register here to attend. See below for more information. As the world grapples with how to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic, we know that local governments are at the forefront of the response. Bloomberg Philanthropies announced…

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County Leaders Urge Use of Schools For Essential Staff Childcare Services

In a letter to Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, leaders from Maryland's largest jurisdictions are urging her to allow the use of closed schools for child care services for essential staff and health care workers during this coronavirus crisis. As detailed in the letter: As you know, every county in Maryland is working to put in place child care services for our essential staff and health workers during the school closure period. We…

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NACo Calls on Congress to Send Coronavirus Resources Directly to Counties

In a letter to congressional leadership, the National Association of Counties (NACo) has urged for a portion of critical coronavirus resources to flow directly to nation's 3,069 counties: Counties nationwide are committed to working with both Congress and the Administration to advance legislation that assists with the mitigation of this public health crisis and its potential far-reaching economic, health, and safety impacts on our nation. We respectfully urge that a portion of the federal resources…

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Senate Amends Digitial Ad Tax onto E-Cig Tax and Regulations Bill

A bill imposing taxes and regulations on electronic smoking devices and other tobacco products has been amended in the Senate to include provisions of a bill imposing HB 732 – Electronic Smoking Devices, Other Tobacco Products, and Cigarettes – Taxation and Regulation passed third reader in the Senate. As introduced the bill increased the tobacco tax rate on cigarettes and other tobacco products and imposed a tax on electronic smoking devices. It also removed the…

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Maryland Health Connection Opens Special Enrollment Amid State Emergency

As part of the Covid-19 State of Emergency declared by Governor Larry Hogan, the Maryland Health Connection has opened a new special enrollment period. For the next month, uninsured Marylanders can enroll for health insurance through the state’s health insurance marketplace. From Eye on Annapolis: To ensure residents of the state receive access to affordable ACA-compliant insurance coverage during this emergency, individuals can visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. Request or select “Coronavirus…

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Bill Requiring Revalidation of Pretrial Scoring Instruments Moves Towards Passage

A bill has been amended to require jails to exercise best practices by revalidating pretrial scoring instruments periodically while ensuring the jails are not overburdened by the requirement. HB 49 - Criminal Procedure – Pretrial Release – Pretrial Risk Assessment Instruments  (CF SB 68) passed third reader in the Senate making it through one of the final hurdles before becoming law. The bill has been successfully amended to address county concerns. As introduced the bill…

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MD, VA, District Leaders Call for President to Prioritize Capital Region’s COVID-19 Testing Sites

The Governors of Maryland and Virginia and the Mayor of the District of Columbia are calling on President Trump to add the National Capital Region to the priority locations for federally-supported COVID-19 testing sites. Together with @GovLarryHogan and @GovernorVA, we request that @realDonaldTrump adds the National Capital Region to the priority locations for federally-supported COVID-19 testing sites. Read more below. pic.twitter.com/2OrQwvqX5u — Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) March 16, 2020  

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Montgomery Council Passes Bill Bolstering Community Policing

The Montgomery County Council has enacted a bill intended to improve law enforcement transparency and accountability through community policing. From the press release: The community policing guidelines created by Bill 33-19 require the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) to do the following: regularly initiate and engage in outreach activities with their communities; ensure cultural competency throughout the Department; emphasize the recruitment of candidates with ties to the County; increase community outreach initiatives and officers must…

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Amendments Extend Pretrial Grant Program, Add Conditions

A bill that initially raised great concern and opposition from counties, has been amended to address those concerns. It is now on the move. HB 82 – Criminal Procedure – Pretrial Release – Reimbursement of Special Condition Costs has passed second reading on the House floor with amendments. As introduced HB 82 – Criminal Procedure – Pretrial Release – Reimbursement of Special Condition Costs (crossfile SB 679) broadly and unreasonably requires counties to reimburse defendants…

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Aging in Place Bill Moves with Amendments

HB 498 – Department of Aging – Grants for Aging-in-Place Programs – Funding has passed second reading on the House floor with amendments. The bill as introduced increased funding for local aging efforts by requiring the Governor to appropriate at least $1 million annually for state grants to support aging-in-place programs. It also set requirements that limited its use by mandating that 10% of the annual appropriation be used to support senior villages –- a…

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