MACo Urges OPEB Trust to Be Added Under Local Tort Law

On 15, January 2021 MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified virtually before the House Judiciary Committee to support HB 378 - Local Government Tort Claims Act - Definition of Local Government. This bill would change the definition of local government to include MACo's Pooled OPEB Trust Fund under the Local Government Tort Claims Act. From the MACo Testimony: HB 378 seeks to specify that this Pooled Trust, clearly performing a governmental function on behalf of its member…

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MACo Recommends Study for On-Site Wastewater Services Bill

On January 15, 2021, MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified virtually before the House Environment and Transportation Committee to support HB 302 Environment - On-Site Wastewater Services - Regulation with amendments. This bill would create minimum standards for individuals who perform on-site wastewater systems. From the MACo Testimony: Data presented showed issues with systems were not abundant within three years after installations, suggesting that installers are sufficiently regulated. The vast majority of counties already require licensure for…

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Counties Back Bill to Promote Development of New Markets for Recycling

On January 15, 2021, MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified virtually before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 164 Department of the Environment - Office of Recycling - Recycling Market Development. This bill would require the Maryland Department of the Environment to promote the development of new markets for recyclables. From the MACo Testimony: Markets for recycled commodities have seen sincere hardships in the last several years due to a decline in market demand…

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MACo Opposes Property Tax Exemption Mandate

On January 14, 2021, MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in opposition of SB 258 - Property Tax Exemption - Disabled Veterans. This bill would expand eligibility for a property tax exemption of a disabled veteran to include veterans with a service-connected disability of at least 80%, which would have a significant fiscal impact on county governments. MACo does not raise policy objections with this goal – county…

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MACo Opposes Costly Mandate to Install Changing Facilities

On January 14, 2021, MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin submitted written testimony to the House Health and Government Operations Committee to oppose HB 321 - Public Buildings - Changing Facilities - Requirements. This bill would impose a mandate on local governments to install changing facilities in public bathrooms. From the MACo Testimony: As a rule, MACo resists state policies that result in costly or burdensome local implementation. HB 321 would implement a costly mandate for…

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MD General Assembly Posts Pre-Filed Bill List

The Maryland General Assembly Senate and House pre-filed bill lists are now available on the General Assembly website. Although the list of pre-file bills are available, there is no bill text at this time. Currently, readers are able to view the bill title, sponsor, and committee assignment. As of today, there are 780 total House and Senate pre-filed bills and resolutions listed on the website. This will be updated to reflect updates on the General…

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MACo, MML Release Joint Statement on Proposed Police Body-worn Camera Recordings Legislation

MACo and MML submitted a joint letter of information on proposed legislation regarding the release of police body-worn camera recordings in front of the Judicial Proceedings Committee. The proposed legislation, JPR 8 – Public Information Act – Police Body-worn Camera Recordings, is part of the draft Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021. The draft bill provides a framework for when police body-worn camera recordings are to be released under the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA).…

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Senate JPR Tackles Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR) on Day Three of Police Accountability Hearings

The two bills heard on the final day of virtual Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee (JPR) hearings on draft police accountability and law enforcement reform legislation for the 2021 session solely centered on the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR).  The LEOBR is arguably one of the most controversial statutes in Maryland law. It establishes the procedures and framework for police discipline. Generally, proponents of the statute believe it provides a uniform system of due…

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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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