Montgomery County Council Accepts Audio/Video Testimony for Remote Hearings

The Montgomery County Council recently implemented new ways of allowing the public to submit testimony for public hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic - audio and video. The County Council is holding virtual meetings as part of their response to the pandemic. As the public is prohibited from attending in person, they've developed alternative methods for residents to submit their testimony. https://twitter.com/Andrew_Friedson/status/1247598932944920582 Written testimony is also being accepted. The deadline to submit testimony is two days…

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2020 Session: Recap and Wrap-Ups

This year, for the first time in since the Civil War, the General Assembly closed session early on March 18, due to precautionary social distancing measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. Despite the unusual circumstances, MACo's advocacy still led to more positive outcomes for its members. Bills that we supported had a greater likelihood of passage, while bills we opposed had a larger tendency to fail. MACo also helped improve many pieces of…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Parks & Recreation

This post summarizes the status of various parks and recreation bills that MACo took a position on during the 2020 Regular Session. County government parks and recreation department provide a range of public recreation programs for all segments of the population and maintain a large network of open spaces throughout Maryland. MACo’s advocacy seeks to support the efforts of county parks and recreation, by urging state and federal funding support and defending local determination of…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Planning & Zoning

This post summarizes the status of various planning and zoning bills that MACo took a position on during the 2020 Regular Session. Planning and zoning is an integral function of county governments, and an area that spurs a high level of interaction with residents and business owners. In its planning and zoning advocacy, MACo seeks to protect the ability of local governments – those closest to the people and with the most insight into local…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Public Safety and Corrections

An overview of MACo’s advocacy on public safety and corrections legislation in the 2020 General Assembly. Counties are the primary provider of public safety services in the state. Each county is required to have an elected sheriff and some also have a county police force. Additionally, each county operates a local jail which holds inmates awaiting trial and those sentenced to 18 months or less. This year, for the first time in since the Civil…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Health and Human Services

An overview of MACo’s advocacy on health and human services legislation in the 2020 General Assembly. Each county in Maryland has a local health department that provides essential public health services to residents. They are also county agencies provide human or citizen services for children, families, and persons with special needs. MACo advocates actively for policies that continue to confront the opioid crisis and to support county health and social services programs. This year, for the…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Public Information & Ethics

This post summarizes the status of various public information and ethics bills that MACo took a position on during the 2020 Regular Session. County governments gather and maintain public information as part of their various functions. Compliance with the Maryland Public Information Act and maintenance of a high level of ethics in all government practices are priorities throughout the administrative agencies and legislative bodies of Maryland’s county governments. Through its advocacy and professional education in…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Government Liability & Courts

This post summarizes the status of various government liability and courts bills that MACo took a position on during the 2020 Regular Session. County governments enforce laws, employee residents, and maintain facilities throughout Maryland. These various roles may place county governments, much like their counterparts in the private sector, as defendants in court, litigating cases involving employment benefits, injuries sustained on county properties, or other subjects. MACo’s advocacy in this area seeks to clarify the…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Environment

This post summarizes the status of various environmental bills that MACo took a position on during the 2020 Regular Session. MACo seeks practical solutions to environmental issues that do not impose unreasonable mandates or costs on county governments. This year, for the first time in since the Civil War, the General Assembly closed session early on March 18, due to precautionary social distancing measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. Consequently, many bills did…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Taxes and Revenues

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of tax policy in the 2020 General Assembly.  The General Assembly routinely considers proposals to change tax structures, often seeking to stimulate economic growth, encourage beneficial activities, or attract and retain residents. These proposals often are focused exclusively on the state’s tax structure, but sometimes extend to local revenues as well. In general, MACo stands for local self-determination. Counties, led by their…

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