Top Issues of 2022 Session: School Construction

With the 2022 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview school construction and capital projects. In the 2021 legislative session, the General Assembly overrode Governor Larry Hogan's veto of the Blueprint for Maryland's Future, setting into motion a complete overhaul of the State's public education and how it funds and completes school construction and capital improvement projects. Built to…

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Top Issues of 2022 Session: Elections — Funding Fairness and County Role

With the 2022 legislative session just around the corner, MACo is profiling some significant issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview potential reforms to the administration, procedures, and financing of elections. Counties administer and fund elections at the local level, overseeing polling places and coordinating poll workers every two years -- an essential function that proved challenging amidst the pandemic. Current law fails to recognize modern trends in…

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Top Issues of 2022 Session: Budget and Fiscal Outlook

With the 2022 legislative session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some significant issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview Maryland’s budget and fiscal outlook. The Constitution of Maryland requires a balanced budget: total estimated revenues must equal or exceed total appropriations. The budget also must reflect any estimated revenue surplus or deficit at the end of the preceding year. The Maryland Constitution prohibits the General Assembly from increasing…

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Cybersecurity & IT Issues

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly's work. Here, we preview potential actions surrounding Cybersecurity & IT.  Globally cyber attacks are on the rise. This month, the Maryland Department of Health fell victim to a cyberattack from which they are still recovering. In recent years both Baltimore County Public School and Baltimore City were targeted by criminals, causing significant disruption…

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Marylander Benefits Could be Gone in a SNAP

In the 2022 General Assembly Session, expect renewed attention on mushrooming public assistance enrollment numbers, especially regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The federally-funded program, formerly referred to as "food stamps," provides payments to low income individuals and families to purchase food. In an issue paper, the Maryland Department of Legislative Services (DLS) highlighted the upward shift in SNAP enrollment: The number of SNAP recipients increased at unprecedented rates during the COVID-19 pandemic... [E]nrollment…

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Top Issues of 2022 Session: Recreational Adult Cannabis Use and Considerations for Counties

With the 2022 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview recreational adult cannabis use and the potential paths to reforms. Several years after the passage of medical cannabis use, Maryland’s leaders are expected to consider adult recreational use in 2022 -- which statewide polls have shown is consistently supported in the state. The Senate and House worked on the issue…

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Public Health and Cannabis Legalization

In 2022, the Maryland General Assembly (MGA) is very likely taking up the issue of cannabis legalization again, which will require a greater look into its potential public health impacts. The Department of Legislative Services (DLS) provided an in-depth analysis of the public health ramifications of cannabis legalization in an issue paper, examining cannabis use disorder, youth usage, and driving under the influence, among other public health considerations. Cannabis use disorder (CUD) "is a medical diagnosis…

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Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

With the 2022 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly's work. Here, we preview potential actions surrounding climate change.  Maryland is no stranger to the impacts of our ever-shifting climate. From sea-level rise, increasing average temperatures, more extreme weather, and the pandemic, Marylanders are already feeling the sting of climate change. In 2022, Maryland's leaders are looking to mitigation and adaptation measures to…

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Ghost Guns: A Growing Threat to Public Safety
An untraceable "ghost gun," courtesy of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
Ghost Guns: A Growing Threat to Public Safety

For the Maryland General Assembly's (MGA) 2022 Session, expect continued focus on privately made, do-it-yourself firearms, also known as "ghost guns." Generally speaking, ghost guns are constructed in one of two ways: 1. through the receiving of parts through the mail; or 2. the printing of parts using a 3D printer. Neither federal nor state law require the registration of individual gun parts, most notably a gun's frame or receiver. Absent the ability to track…

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