MACo Calls For an Update to Local Notice Distribution Requirements

On Thursday, Kevin Kinnally and Leslie Knapp, Jr. sat on a panel in support of SB 324 Political Subdivisions - Legal Notice Requirements - Posting on Websites. This bill modernizes outdated notice requirements that are currently state law by allowing counties to publish certain legal notices on their website rather than solely in newspapers. SB 324 would not only increase constituent access to legal notices, but would also lead to a decrease in government expenses.…

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Counties Caution Against Opening Personnel Records to PIA Requests

On Tuesday, Executive Director Michael Sanderson provided oral testified alongside a representative from the Maryland Municipal League in opposition to HB 413 - Public Information Act - Personnel and Investigatory Records - Formal Complaints Against Public Employees as it is currently written. According to written testimony prepared by Les Knapp, Jr., despite being well-intentioned, MACo is concerned that the current proposed bill would have repercussions far beyond addressing the issues that it attempts to solve.…

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MACo Stands for Local Autonomy Against State-Mandated Reductions

Kevin Kinnally, MACo’s Associate Director, offered testimony on Wednesday to oppose two bills representing state-mandated reductions in local revenue sources; HB 385 Income Tax - Subtraction Modification for Classroom Supplies Purchased by Alteration and SB 412 Income Tax - Personal Exemption - Disabled Individuals. However, with these two bills – and those like them – MACo's stance is not necessarily in opposition to the motivating force behind the bill, just the mechanism suggested to get…

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Counties Strive for the Expansion of Beneficial Incentive Program

On February 13th, Michael Sanderson testified alongside a representative from the Maryland Municipal League in support of SB 116 Transportation - Complete Streets - Access to Healthy Food. This bill would sensibly expand and strengthen the existing Complete Streets Grant Program, encouraging local governments to consider broad-based approaches when implementing new roadways. From the MACo Testimony: “Complete Streets” is a multi-faceted approach to roadway design and development, where non-vehicle traffic, conduits, and stormwater infrastructure are…

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MACo Encourages State to Pay For Same-Day Voter Registration

Kevin Kinnally, Associate Director of MACo, offered testimony to the Ways and Means Committee on February 12th in support with amendments for HB 286 - Election Law - Registration and Voting at Precinct Polling Places. This bill would authorize an individual to register and vote at their polling place on election day, and as written, would place a substantial administrative and cost burden onto local Boards of Elections. While MACo does not raise policy objections…

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Local Governments Support Optional Tax “Installment Payments”

Kevin Kinnally, Associate Director of MACo, offered testimony to the Ways and Means Committee on February 12th in support of HB 396 - Property Tax - Optional Installment Payment Schedule This bill would authorize local governments to provide for an installment payment schedule for county, municipal, or special taxing district real property taxes. HB 396 would move to ensure that local governments would have the flexibility needed to enact policies that would rightfully serve and…

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MACo Calls for Inmates to Receive Treatment in More Appropriate Facilities

Natasha Mehu, Legislative Director of MACo, offered testimony to the Judiciary Committee on February 12th in support of HB 306 - Mental Health - Involuntary Admission - Inmates in Correctional Facilities. This bill's goal is to address the growing issue of inmates with serious mental illness being held in county jails instead of receiving treatment in appropriate facilities, which would be better suited to provide services needed for individuals who are a danger to themselves…

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County Budgets Threatened by Bill on Homestead Property Tax Credit

Kevin Kinnally, Associate Director of MACo, offered testimony to the Ways and Means Committee on February 12th in opposition to HB 264 - Homestead Property Tax Credit - Calculation of Credit for Dwelling Purchased by First-Time Homebuyer. This bill opens up property tax savings under the Homestead Property Tax Credit to be "transferrable" to homebuyers purchasing their first home in Maryland. HB 264 holds the potential of costing counties millions of dollars in revenue that…

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Counties Back Public/Private Fund To Advance Smart Growth Projects

Leslie Knapp Jr., Legal and Policy Counsel, submitted written testimony on behalf of MACo to the Environment and Transportation Committee on Monday in support of HB 117 - Maryland Smart Growth Investment Fund.  This bill would create a fund that would increase private investment in Smart Growth projects, establishing a new public-private tool that would assist State and county governments in meeting Smart Growth goals. From MACo's Testimony: ...The bill calls for a one-time State…

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MACo Proposes Tweaks To Forest Conservation Fees-In-Lieu Bill

On Tuesday, Legislative and Policy Counsel Leslie Knapp, Jr. testified in front of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee to support SB 234 Natural Resources - State and Local Forest Conservation Funds with amendments. He also proposed the same amendments to its cross-file, HB 272, the following day. This bill has several provisions that would directly affect counties: 1.Requiring a developer to check if there are appropriate credits generated by a forest mitigation bank…

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