State Announces Plans for Future Coronavirus Vaccine Distributions

In preparation for a coronavirus vaccine, state health officials have released a two-phase plan for distribution once a vaccine is available.  Under the plan, the vaccine would initially be distributed to hospitals, nursing homes, and local health departments to vaccinate certain particularly vulnerable individuals. The general population would receive the second phase of vaccinations when the vaccine is more readily available. The Baltimore Sun reports: The plan says that “final decisions are still being made”…

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Washington to Break Ground on New Public Safety Training Center

Construction on the new $7.9 million Public Safety Training Center in Washington County is set to begin in November.  The new Washington County Public Safety Training Center will allow for more joint training opportunities between local law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS who are currently trained at separate sites. The Herald-Mail reports: The training building will include four classrooms that can accommodate about 50 people each, four smaller classrooms that can each accommodate about 20 people…

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House Subcommittees Briefed by Experts and Agencies on Telehealth in Maryland

House Health Occupations and Longterm Care Subcommittee and Health Insurance Subcommittee jointly briefed on the successes, challenges, and future of telehealth in Maryland.  The subcommittees heard from several panels including representatives from Harvard Medical School, the Center of Health Information Technology and Innovative Care Delivery, the Maryland Insurance Administration, and the Maryland Department of Health. Maryland Matters reports on data and trends shared by the panels: Prior to COVID-19, Maryland’s five primary insurers covered 719…

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House Workgroup Approves Police Reform Recommendations for 2021 Legislative Session

At the final meeting of the House Workgroup on Police Reform and Accountability members voted on a package of recommendations to be pursued in the 2021 session.  The workgroup continued where they last left off and finished voting on police reform recommendations for the 2021 legislative session.  As previously reported on Conduit Street, the workgroup discussed and voted on more than a handful of recommendations at their October 8 meeting and held voting on a…

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Baltimore County Launches Reimbursement Program for Restaurants’ Coronavirus Safety Expenses

Baltimore County has launched a $2.5 million COVID-19 Small Business Restaurant Reimbursement Program to aid restaurants that have made investments in improving safety conditions during the pandemic. The program was launched in recognition of the vital role restaurants play in the local economy and to help them continue to operate safely during the pandemic for the benefit of consumers and employees. The Baltimore Fishbowl reports: The COVID-19 Small Business Restaurant Reimbursement Program will provide restaurants…

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Body Camera Taskforce Meeting Focuses on Transparency and Access of Footage Under MPIA

The Law Enforcement Body Camera Task Force was briefed by New York University (NYU) professor Barry Friedman and Maryland American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney David Rocah.  NYU Professor Barry Friedman shared his credentials as the author of "Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission," Policing Project," the leader of a program run through the school of law dedicated to working with communities and police to ensure that policing is equitable and accountable, and as a board member…

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House Police Reform Workgroup Begins to Vote on 2021 Legislative Recommendations

Members of the House Workgroup on Police Reform and Accountability voted on a number of recommendations for the 2021 session while holding some recommendations for discussion during their final meeting.  Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, Chair of the Workgroup and Vice-Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, had the group jump right into the work of voting on a number of recommendations for reform that have been raised and discussed over the past few months of meetings. The…

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Baltimore County Council Passes ‘SMART’ Police Reform Act

The Baltimore County Council has passed the Strengthening Modernization, Accountability, Reform, and Transparency (SMART) Policing Act.  The SMART Act was introduced by Baltimore County Council Member Julian Jones and had the support of County Executive Johnny Olszewski. The bill was amended after being tabled by the Council in August. The Baltimore Sun reports on what the SMART Act will require in addition to setting use of force restrictions and providing whistleblower protections: Police will be…

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House Police Reform Workgroup Discusses Possible Recommendations for 2021 Session

House Workgroup on Police Reform and Accountability begins work on developing recommendations for the 2021 session as each member shares their thoughts on what's necessary to see addressed moving forward. In her opening remarks, Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, Chair of the Workgroup and Vice-Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, reiterated why the workgroup was created and its specific charge which was stated as: Review policies and procedures related to the investigations of police misconduct including the…

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Office of People’s Counsel Provides Info on Assistance Programs as End to Utility Shutoff Moratorium Nears

While the moratorium on terminating residential gas, water, and electric services is set to end on November 15 in Maryland, utilities are authorized to begin sending out termination notices on October 1 -- 45 days before the end of the moratorium.  The Office of People's Counsel has sent out information strongly encouraging anyone who may be eligible for assistance to apply now and not wait for a turn-off notice. A message sent from the Office…

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