2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Other Tax Bills

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work to protect and grow county revenues in the 2018 General Assembly. 

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database

Recordation Tax Exemptions

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo supported a bill that would exempt certain property transfers from recordation taxes – some of which are already exempt under existing law, or else a solid policy reason exists to make them exempt through this bill. The Senate amended out of the bill the exemption for general partnerships, at MACo’s request. General partnerships—unlike corporations, LLCs, and limited partnerships—are not required to file formation documents with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). What constitutes a general partnership is also sometimes a question of subjective intent.

Also, as originally introduced, the proposed legislation would have expanded an exemption by including in the definition of “original mortgagor” any entity that acquired title by a deed that is exempt from recordation taxes. However, the Senate limited this expansion to a reasonable number of transactions. MACo worked closely with the bill sponsor and with stakeholders to solidify county concerns. The bill passed both the House and the Senate unanimously and awaits the Governor’s signature.

Bill Information | MACo Coverage: Stakeholders Agree to Amendments on Recordation Tax Exemptions

School Field Trip Tax Exemption

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported legislation that would authorize local governments to exempt school field trips from the admissions and amusement tax. Counties generally support legislation enabling counties to authorize tax exemptions by local ordinance, as opposed to bills which mandate those exemptions across the board. Unfortunately, the bill did not advance out of committee.

Bill Information | MACo Coverage: Counties: Clarify Tax Exemption Authority 

2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Finance and Procurement

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of finance and procurement policy in the 2018 General Assembly. 

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.

More Jobs for Marylanders

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported legislation that expands access to State economic development benefits under the More Jobs for Marylanders Program to geographical areas sharing a zip code with areas that currently qualify. Senate Bill 1104 and House Bill 1594 both offer a reasonable recognition that a “distressed area” may not strictly be confined within political boundaries, and creates some flexibility in targeting them in distressed areas spilling across county lines. HB1594 passed through the House, but did not advance beyond that. SB1104 did not move after being recommitted to the Senate Finance Committee. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Procurement Contracts

Push Icons-MORE WORKHouse Bill 62 would require bidders and offerors for state and local contracts to provide specified information on the mean and median wages of its male and female employees when responding to a state or local procurement. Counties appreciate the intent to expose any gender wage gaps that exist among vendors receiving public dollars. However, there were a significant number of concerns in the vague language of the bill that could have unintended consequences for county procurement efforts. The bill did not advance out of committee. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo submitted amendments to maintain county autonomy in the payment security process for contracts with county and local entities. Senate Bill 778 would mandate all public bodies, including the State and county governments, to require certain contractors on construction contracts exceeding $100,000 to provide payment security in the amount of 100 percent of the total amount of the construction contract. Counties expressed concerns that this may increase costs for jurisdictions that do not currently require that threshold. The concerns were put to rest when the Senate Education and Health and Environmental Affairs Committee gave the bill an unfavorable report. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-MORE WORKSenate Bill 1155 establishes a process and timeline for the payment of retention proceeds in excess of the estimated cost of completing the work remaining on a project after an owner takes possession of a project or otherwise puts a project into use. MACo had concerns with some aspects of the bill. However, the hearing for the bill was canceled, and it did not advance out of committee. Bill Information

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo opposed a bill that broadly requires “an entity … that receives State aid,” including counties, to “advertise using a range of media sources with target audiences that reflect the racial diversity of the State.” While the bill is noble with its intent, this bill was too broad to implement effectively without exposing innumerable county procurements to countless bid protests. Upon notice of MACo’s concerns, the sponsor withdrew the bill. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Interest Payments on Tax Collection Errors

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported legislation that would require the Comptroller to pay interest on tax refund claims after a 45-day grace period, unless the refund is owed due to an error or mistake of the State, in which case the Comptroller must pay interest from the date of the overpayment. An amendment was submitted by county governments to clarify that the State, which administers income taxes, bears responsibility for the errors and therefore should cover the costs. However, the bill did not advance past the initial hearing in the Senate. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Funding Priorities in the State Budget Workgroup

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported a bill to establish a workgroup to examine prioritization systems that could apply to the State’s budgeting process. The workgroup is made up of and staffed by representatives from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Comptroller’s Office, and the Department of Legislative Services (DLS). MACo offered an amendment to add county representation on the workgroup. The bill did not advance out of committee. Bill Information 

Mandating County Participation in State Health Plans

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo opposed legislation that would have required all counties to participate in the State’s health care plan. Requiring counties to simply use the State’s health care plan removes their ability to procure health care benefits for their unique employee groups at the best value available. For some counties, opting into the State’s health care plan could be the best option. However, this mandate removes local authority to purchase plans that make sense to them, in the appropriate purchasing pools that provide the best value. The Senate version of the bill passed the Senate after being heavily amended to alleviate MACo’s concerns, and the bill in the House was withdrawn by the sponsor. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

For more information on finance and procurement-related legislation tracked by MACo during the 2018 legislative session, click here.

2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Transportation and Public Works

MACo is committed to securing funding and resources that help maintain county roads and ensure the safety of county residents. The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of transportation policy in the 2018 General Assembly. 

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.

Rebuilding Roads Through Complete Streets

Push Icons-WONMACo supported legislation that creates a competitive grant program that makes Transportation Trust Fund dollars available to local governments for the planning and design of Complete Streets projects.House Bill 535 and Senate Bill 407 provide additional local transportation aid to local governments and continues a commitment to local roads specifically to transform the transportation network into one which prioritizes pedestrians, cyclists, and transit passengers as highly as it prioritizes cars. The bill passed through both houses and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Safety in Special Event Zones

Push Icons-NOT IDEALHouse Bill 1406 and Senate Bill 872 would have authorized counties to designate certain areas as “special event zones” on their roads, set lower speed limits within those zones, and enforce those lower speed limits in an effort to protect pedestrians in the vicinity of an event taking place. MACo supported this legislation as it is a tool in counties’ toolboxes to keep their residents and visitors safe during special events. Unfortunately, while House Bill 1406 did pass the House, it failed to receive a hearing in the Senate. Senate Bill 872, which was amended to be Worcester County-specific, did pass and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

The Light Was Still Yellow!

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo originally opposed legislation which required a traffic control signal at an intersection to display a yellow light for at least four seconds if the signal is monitored by a red light camera. However, the bill was amended in the House to require conformance with federal and state law and engineering standards, allowing MACo to drop its opposition. The bill passed both the House and the Senate, and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Water Affordability Programs

Push Icons-WONMACo supported legislation that would authorize counties to implement and bolster water affordability programs in their communities. This bill helps homeowners avoid going to tax sale over unpaid water bills by addressing the problem long before those bills become overdue. In addition, enabling water shut off to vacant and abandoned properties helps keep water bills at bay at properties where the service is not being used or may even cause harm by flooding or otherwise deteriorating a vacant structure. Senate Bill 709 and House Bill 923 passed through both chambers and they await the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo originally opposed House Bill 598, which would have created a statewide scheme for enforcing parking spaces set aside for plug-in electric drive vehicles. Counties had concerns that the bill would unwisely limit enforcement options. However, the sponsor offered amendments that addressed county concerns, and allowed MACo to drop its opposition to the bill. Nevertheless, the bill received an unfavorable report from the House Environment and Transportation Committee and did not advance. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

For more on transportation and public works-related legislation tracked by MACo during the 2018 legislative session, click here.

2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: State Budget and Fiscal Affairs

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of fiscal affairs policy in the 2018 General Assembly. 

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.

SDAT Cost Shift and Mandatory Spending Cuts Resisted by Counties in the Budget

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo generally supported the Administration’s proposals for funding county services in the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA). However, counties successfully resisted a potentially calamitous cost shift from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) of nearly $20 million annually beginning in FY2019. This cost shift would have threatened the objective nature of having assessment functions managed and funded by an entity that does not meaningfully, directly benefit from the results of those assessments. Additionally, this cost shift would have required counties to fund, almost in their entirely, functions over which they have no managerial control.

The General Assembly also removed from the BRFA a provision that would have mandated relief by permanently capping formula increases in statutorily mandated programs to the level of general revenue growth minus 1 percent. The long-term effects on county programs would have been significant, but counties remain committed to and understand the necessity of maintaining a balanced budget. Counties are willing to work with stakeholders in the future to achieve this goal in ways that are not harmful to residents through consequential statewide mandates.

Bill Information | MACo Coverage

For more information on state budget and fiscal affairs legislation tracked by MACo during the 2018 legislative session, click here.

2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Employee Benefits and Relations

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of employee benefits and relations in the 2018 General Assembly. 

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database

Wage Reporting and History

MACo supported a bill with amendments that would mandate employers to exclude a variety of wage and salary history when offering jobs or promotions. Senate Bill 377 and House Bill 512 would have prohibited employers from relying on past wage history information to determine an applicant’s salary or a current employee’s salary.

Counties already have established pay scale systems that are often used to promote employees over time, and offered an amendment to be removed from the legislation. The bill sponsor did not accept MACo’s amendment. HB 512 passed the House but died in the Senate. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Transportation Benefit Mandate

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo opposed a bill that would require county governments to provide employees a structured opportunity to use pre-tax income to pay for certain workplace transportation costs. Counties introduced concerns with the carryover county fiscal effect of this bill and mandated reductions in local revenue sources.

The bill would have decreased local income tax revenues by more than $2 million per year. This was exacerbated by the fact that counties do not know yet just how federal tax reform, and the state reaction to it, will affect their revenues. The bill was given an unfavorable report and did not make it out of committee. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Paid Sick Leave Delay

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported a bill that would have extended the implementation of the Health Working Families Acts by 60 days. However, after passing the Senate, it received an unfavorable report in the House Economic Matters Committee and did not pass. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Drug Testing and the Workplace

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo opposed a bill that would have removed an employer’s ability to require an employee to return a negative drug test prior to employment or allow the employer to take disciplinary action against an employee who tested positive for cannabis and has a medical prescription for the drug. There was an exception for actions against an employee who possessed or was impaired by cannabis at the workplace. Counties fought this mandate because there are a number of county positions where the regulation of cannabis usage is critical, and it is additionally difficult to differentiate between an individual who tests positive and is currently impaired. The bill was withdraw by the sponsor after an unfavorable report was given by the House Health and Government Operations Committee. Bill Information

For more on employee benefit legislation tracked by MACo during the 2018 legislative session, click here.

2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Housing and Community Development

MACo advocates for process improvements and innovative tools to help counties support community development throughout Maryland.

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s advocacy in the area of housing and community development in the 2018 General Assembly. 

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database

Prompt Foreclosure Notices to Local Governments

Push Icons-WONMACo supported legislation that will allow counties to receive prompt notification about the ownership of foreclosed properties within their jurisdiction. This “push” rather than “pull” system could prove very helpful to county public safety and code enforcement officials to better manage properties in transition. This notification system will allow county and local governments to take timely action in regards to properties in foreclosure in the community. Senate Bill 222 and House Bill 78 passed both the House and the Senate unanimously and they await the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Maintenance and Management of Burial Sites

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo also supported a bill that will provide local governments with assistance in preserving blighted and abandoned cemeteries. House Bill 877 and Senate Bill 1242 allows counties to grant a local property tax credit on an improvement of real property that substantiates, demarcates, commemorates, or celebrates a burial ground. As amended in committee the bill ensures that local governments are in control of their new authorities. The bills passed the Senate and the House and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

For more information on housing and community development legislation tracked by MACo during the 2018 legislative session, click here.

 

2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Education

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of education policy in the 2018 General Assembly. 

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database

Counties Support Kirwan Commission’s Preliminary Recommendations

MACo supported a bill to implement the preliminary recommendations of the [Kirwan] Commission On Innovation and Excellence in Education. As a precursor to the Kirwan Commission’s final report, HB 1415/SB 1092 would establish a comprehensive teacher recruitment and outreach program, the Maryland Early Literacy Initiative, the Learning in Extended Academic Programs (LEAP) grant program, and the Career and Technology Education (CTE) Innovation grant program. Additionally, the bill would ensure funding for current prekindergarten grant programs and the Teaching Fellows for Maryland scholarship program. The bill was passed General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Counties Support Legislation to Expand the Maryland Technology Internship Program

MACo supported a bill that would enable counties to participate in the Maryland Technology Internship program. Currently, the Program connects college and university students, recent graduates, and veterans with small innovative businesses in the high-growth technology sector through internships. The Program incentivizes businesses to participate by offering a stipend of up to 50% for each paid intern. HB 527/  would expand the current Program by authorizing the State and local governments to participate in the same way as technology-based businesses. The bill passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Counties Look To Bolster Support for Community Colleges

MACo supported a bill that would have increased funding for community colleges from the State under the Cade formula beginning in FY 2020. This legislation requires the State to increase its contribution to Maryland’s community colleges. However, neither House Bill 516 or Senate Bill 596 made it out of committee in either house.

Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-MORE WORKSenate Bill 303 would have increased state funding for community colleges beginning in 2020. MACo supported this measure to offset unfunded state mandates for tuition and residency waivers, signaling a new commitment to community colleges on behalf of the State. The bill did not advance out of the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee.

Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Counties Oppose One-Size-Fits-All Collective Bargaining Mandate

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo opposed House Bill 667 and Senate Bill 408. The two bills would have established a uniform statewide collective bargaining process for community college employees. This legislation would not have provided local flexibility in the decision to allow collective bargaining at county community colleges, and imposed a one-size-fits-all approach to local collective bargaining. The Senate version of the bill received an unfavorable report from the Senate Finance committee and did not advance. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Counties Oppose Legislation to Require Local Health Departments to Substantially Expand Student Vision Screenings

MACo opposed a bill that would require local boards of education and local health departments to substantially expand student vision screenings. The new screenings would be designed to detect a wide swath of possible symptoms indicating potential vision disorders. Counties were concerned the legislation would have placed a substantial administrative and cost burden onto local health departments. Without state resources to offset these potentially large costs, the bill represented an unfunded mandate on local governments. Language requiring local boards of education and local health departments substantially expand student vision screenings was removed from the bill. The bill passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

For more information on education legislation tracked by MACo during the 2018 legislative session, click here.

2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Business Affairs

MACo seeks to protect local licensing flexibility, expand access for residents to critical services, and enhance citizens’ safety through its business affairs advocacy. The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in this area in the 2018 General Assembly.

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database

Electrical and Trade Licensing

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo opposed a bill that would have repealed long-standing local authority to license electricians and imposed a new, less comprehensive, statewide system. MACo believes it is still premature to address this issue while broader discussions on electrical licensing reform are still underway. The bill received an unfavorable report from the House Economic Matters Committee.

Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Rural Broadband Access

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo supported a bill that would extend the timeline for a task force examining rural broadband access with amendments to ensure the rural parts of all of Maryland’s counties are examined. The task force has made valuable progress in identifying challenges to underserved or unserved areas of the State. The bill has passed both houses unanimously with the MACo amendments and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo also supported a bill that would require the mapping of inventory and assets throughout the State with amendments to ensure that the rural areas of all counties are afforded the same review and benefits of the inventory and mapping. This will significantly encourage steps toward advancing broadband service for all areas of our state. The bill has passed both houses unanimously with the MACo amendments and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Wireless Security Systems

Push Icons-WONMACo supported a bill that establishes sensible parameters on the regulation of wireless security systems with amendments that provided clarity to vague provisions proposed law and protected the safety of county residents. It passed both houses unanimously with MACo amendments and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Small Cells

Push Icons-MORE WORKMACo opposed a bill that would have regulated small cell technology across the state and significantly preempted local authority and had inequitable impacts on local communities. While counties embrace innovation and the advancement of broadband technology, local authority and community decision-making is crucial. The bill’s hearing was canceled and did not move out of committee. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Limited Residential Lodging (Airbnb!)

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported two bills to require short-term rentals, such as Airbnb, and individuals who act as hosts on those platforms to be registered with the Comptroller and regulated. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 1081 did not make it out of committee and House Bill 1604 was given an unfavorable report by the House Economic Matters Committee. MACo Coverage

For more information on business affairs legislation tracked by MACo during the 2018 legislative session, click here.

2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Health and Human Services

MACo advocates actively for policies that continue to confront the opioid crisis and to support county social services programs. The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s advocacy in the area of health and human services in the 2018 General Assembly. 

Local Health Departments

Push Icons-WONMACo supported a bill that would establish a renewed commitment to aiding counties seeking to expand or establish behavioral health crisis services. This grant program affords local authorities the opportunity to build upon progress made both at the local and state levels to provide comprehensive behavioral crisis services that can meet their community needs on demand. The bill passed both houses and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo vigorously supported a bill that aimed to ensure that Core Funding for Local Health Departments (LHD) appropriately accounts for the growing costs of medical care these departments provide and sufficiently meets the needs of delivering vital public health services. Unfortunately, the bill did not make it past the first hearing in either the House or Senate. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-WONMACo pushed for a bill that expands insurance coverage and patients’ access to care from local health departments (LHD). Senate Bill 858/House Bill 1132 requires insurance carriers to offer insurance contracts to LHDs for the delivery of covered treatment services including behavioral health care services. The bill passed both houses and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Prescription Drugs and the Opioid Epidemic

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported a bill that would have assisted in efforts to reduce opioid-related overdose deaths by closing an important loophole in the existing immunity provisions for EMS providers administering treatment to an individual experiencing or believed to be experiencing an overdose, regardless of changes in FDA medication or dosage guidelines. The bill did not make it past the first hearing in the House or the Senate as internal EMS policy changes rendered the bill no longer necessary. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported a bill that would have authorized paramedics to dispense life-saving kits of naloxone to individuals at risk for overdosing or in a position to help someone assumed to be overdosing. Unfortunately, the bill received an unfavorable report from the House Health and Government Operations Committee and will not become law. Bill InformationMACo Coverage

Push Icons-NOT IDEALSenate Bill 1083 and House Bill 88 would have strengthened the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program by requiring that the PDMP review data to identify and deter prescription drug abuse and diversion as the state continues to struggle with an opioid crisis. MACo supported the effort behind this bill. Unfortunately, the bill was referred to conference committee on the last day of session and failed to pass before the legislative deadline. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported Senate Bill 309 and House Bill 359 as they empowered law enforcement and first responders to report important overdose data that would help efforts to accurately track and effectively tackle the opioid crisis. As overdose data and information sharing are key components to solving this crisis, counties believe the information must be reported through secure platforms to the extent that it is practicable to do so. Unfortunately, the bill was referred to conference committee on the last day of session and failed to pass before the legislative deadline. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Public Safety and Emergency Medical Services

Push Icons-WONMACo supported an effort to establish an advisory council and fund to support local public health offices in their violence prevention efforts. The dedicated, structured, and collective effort that House Bill 432 and Senate Bill 545 provides is key to finding solutions to the violence that is unfortunately plaguing some county neighborhoods. The bill passed both houses and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

MACo supported Senate Bill 682 which creates a path forward for emergency medical service (EMS) providers to be reimbursed for providing efficient and cost-effective delivery of health care services to their communities. The bill returned passed through the House and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information

Human Services

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo opposed a bill that would have effectively carved out a portion of Local Management Board (LMB) funding for one specified program, consequently reducing their resources for all other programs and undermining their community-based decision-making authority. The bill was given an unfavorable report by the House Appropriations Committeee and was withdrawn. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-WONMACo supported Senate Bill 912 and House Bill 1685. Counties have a vested public health interest in reducing health disparities and improving the well-being of women and children, and SB 912 would act as a new state commitment to counties assisting vulnerable families through grant funding aimed at helping counties and municipalities provide care coordination, intervention, and services to low-income pregnant and postpartum women and children from birth to 3 years old. The bill passed both houses and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

For more on health and human services legislation tracked by MACo in the 2018 legislative session, click here.

 

Pretrial Programs Limit Unnecessary Incarceration

MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu testified in support of House Bill 447 and Senate Bill 1156, “Pretrial Services Program Grant Fund – Establishment”, before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on April 5, 2018.

This bill would establish pretrial programs in counties that do not already have them through a grant fund operated by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP). The grant is funded by proceeds from the state police sales of forfeited property, in addition to any governor appropriations, grants, or other sources. The bill would alleviate the concerns of starting a pretrial program, and maintains some flexibility for counties to tailor the program to their specific jurisdiction.

From MACo Testimony:

The bill helps to mitigate the cost concerns of starting or enhancing a pretrial program, providing local governments a source for start-up grant funding. This funding supplements but does not supplant existing sources of funding, enabling counties to leverage other opportunities to help fund the launch and continued support of pretrial programs. While the bill has some evidence-based requirements, it keeps the eligibility requirements flexible enough for counties, who are best situated to determine the parameters of their pretrial programs based on the needs of their communities, to do so without mandating a “one size fits all” model.

The fund established under HB 447 to help improve and expand the establishment of pretrial services in county jails will help advance the efforts to address the operational and societal costs of incarceration.”