MACo Speaks Up Against Costly Mandate towards Local Boards of Elections

On Tuesday, Kevin Kinnally testified in opposition of HB 565 Election Law - Voting Systems - Accessibility for Voters With Disabilities. MACo does not raise policy objections with this goal – county concerns are merely practical and cost-driven. From the MACo Testimony: HB 565 seeks to ensure that voters with disabilities are provided specified access to voting that is equivalent to access afforded voters without disabilities... ...As a rule, MACo resists state policies that result in…

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MACo Calls for State-Calculated Square Footage to Reflect Real School Needs

On Tuesday, Robin Clark Eilenberg submitted written testimony in support of HB 512 Public School Construction - Maximum Gross Area Allowance for English Learner Students. This bill seeks to align English language learners with other special education categories within the State's school construction area allowance. From the MACo Testimony: Several variables, including the age of students, the overall school population, and the types of students served in a school contribute to the State’s maximum square…

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MACo Agrees: Simplify Rec/Transfer Tax Process

On Tuesday, Kevin Kinnally testified in front of the Ways & Means Committee in support of HB 465 State Department of Assessments and Taxation - Distribution of Recordation and Transfer Tax Revenues. According to the testimony, this bill would "simplify the process for collecting and distributing local recordation and transfer taxes." Also from the MACo Testimony: Over a decade ago, counties received legislative authority to collect recordation taxes through their own finance offices, rather than…

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Counties See Helpful State Role in Flood Response and Recovery

On February 19th, Robin Clark Eilenberg submitted written testimony in support of HB 428 Comprehensive Flood Management Grant Program - Awards for Flood Damage and Mandatory Funding. This bill would expand the previously established grant program by requiring an annual $5M appropriation and extending the list of eligible purchases to include processes such as debris removal and emergency protection work. From the MACo Testimony: Maryland counties support flood mitigation, response, and recovery efforts through the…

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MACo Speaks Up Against Election Law Bill to Protect Local Autonomy

On February 19th, Kevin Kinnally testified in opposition to HB 577 Election Law - County and Municipal Employee Service as Election Judge - Administrative Leave. From the MACo Testimony: MACo generally stands for the ability of county governments, guided by their locally elected officials, to serve and react to community needs. County governments – who meet regularly year-round and are deeply immersed in the community – are in the best position to manage these local…

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MACo: “No Wage History” Mandate Shouldn’t Upend Local Pay Systems

On Tuesday, Michael Sanderson submitted written testimony in opposition to HB 634 Labor and Employment - Wage History and Wage Range. This bill represents a mandate that would potentially eliminate structured promotion opportunities, which typically allow for local governments to offer employees a career path forward. From the MACo Testimony: SB 634 prohibits employers from relying on past wage history information to determine an applicant’s salary or a current employee’s salary when considering that employee…

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Counties Challenge “Stacked Deck” Employee Presumptions

On February 19th, Robin Clark Eilenberg testified against SB 160 Workers' Compensation - Medical Presumptions and SB 646 Workers' Compensation - Medical Presumptions for Disease and Cancer - Eligibility alongside Wendy Karpel, Associate County Attorney for Montgomery County. From the MACo Testimony on SB 160: The bill would further expand a presumption that is not truly legally rebuttable or based on science. SB 160 would add bladder and kidney or renal cell cancer to the list of…

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Counties Seek an Increase in Funding to Prenatal and Infant Care Grant Program

On February 14th, Natasha Mehu submitted written testimony to the Finance Committee in support of SB 406 Prenatal and Infant Care Coordination - Grant Funding and Task Force.  SB 406 would provide funding that is needed to assist counties and municipalities in providing services to low-income pregnant and postpartum women and children. From the MACo Testimony: The grant program helps local governments and their community-based partners to spearhead comprehensive, collaborative programs designed to address women’s…

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Counties Support Creation of Statewide System for Medication-Assisted Treatment

On Tuesday, Natasha Mehu testified on the sponsor panel of HB 116 Public Health - Correctional Services - Opioid Use Disorder Examinations and Treatment.  As Maryland continues to be plagued with an opioid epidemic, this bill would help to ensure that those who are receiving medication-assisted treatment for their opioid use disorder continue to receive said treatment once incarcerated. From the MACo Testimony: HB 116 would require that all jails and prisons in the state…

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MACo Requests Amendments to Establishment of Task Force on Forest Conservation

On February 19th, Les Knapp of MACo, Candace Donoho from MML, Tom Ballentine from NAIOP Maryland, and Lori Graf from the Maryland Building Industry testified in support of SB 729 Task Force on Forest Conservation in Maryland with amendments. From the MACo Testimony: MACo supports the idea of a task force to review FCA and tree issues prior to proposing any statutory changes to the FCA or other tree programs. However, meaningful concerns over membership…

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