Counties Support Establishment of Prescription Drug Affordability Board

On Wednesday, Natasha Mehu testified in support of HB 768/SB 759 Health - Prescription Drug Affordability Board. This bill would create a state-level entity to tackle the pressing issue of excessive prescription drug prices through a cost review process. From the MACo Testimony: As employers, counties are also subject to the impacts of excessive prescription drug prices. Counties have a keen interest in being able to provide comprehensive health insurance coverage to their employees and…

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Counties Support Community Choice Aggregation

On Tuesday, Michael Sanderson testified on a panel alongside representatives from Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, and the Maryland Municipal League in support of SB 660 Electric Industry - Community Choice Aggregation. By providing a means to coordinate energy purchasing, this bill would help counties foster competition, lower prices, and pursue environmental goals. From the MACo Testimony: SB 660 provides counties and municipalities the freedom to form or to join community…

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MACo Protects Local Government Tax Collection Tool

On March 5th, Kevin Kinnally submitted written testimony to the Ways & Means Committee in opposition to HB 1209 - Property Tax - Collection of Unpaid Taxes and Tax Sales. This bill would undermine the most effective collection tool for local governments, and as a result would lead to higher rates on other ratepayers. From the MACo Testimony: Counties are concerned that this legislation would result in significant revenue losses due to the bill’s limitations…

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Counties Call for Locally Applicable and Efficient Solutions to Affordable Housing Issues

On Tuesday, Leslie Knapp testified in front of the Environment & Transportation Committee in opposition to HB 1045 Land Use – Comprehensive Plans – Housing Element. HB 1045 would require counties to address affordable housing issues in a new comprehensive plan element that is expensive, too specific, and too subject to short-term change to include in a plan. MACo believes that counties should be able to target these issues in a manner that is the…

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MACo: Leave the Delivery of School Materials in the Hands of Local Boards of Education

On March 1st, Michael Sanderson submitted written testimony in opposition to HB 1144 County Boards of Election - Equal Access to Public Services for Individuals With Limited Proficiency. From the MACo Testimony: This bill creates a broad and unclear mandate on Boards of Education to provide a potentially wide range of materials in multiple languages. Maryland schools already deliver a wide range of services for English language learners, including materials to assist with classroom accessibility…

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MACo: Synthetic Turf Bill is Inconsistent, Costly, and Unnecessary

On Friday, Leslie Knapp testified in front of the Environment and Transportation Committee in opposition to HB 1142 Environment - Hazardous Materials - Disposal of Synthetic Turf and Turf Infill. HB 1142 would require synthetic turf and turf infill to be disposed in a controlled hazardous substance facility or a closed loop recycling facility. This would impose inconsistent, costly, and unnecessary requirements on the disposal and recycling of these materials. From the MACo Testimony: The…

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MACo Offers Amendments on Bingo Authorization Bill

On March 1st, Natasha Mehu submitted written testimony to the Ways & Means Committee in support of HB 970 Senior Citizen Activities Centers - Bingo Games - Authorization with amendments. This bill would authorize individuals to conduct bingo games at senior citizen activities centers. From the MACo Testimony: While this is a well-intentioned means of expanding recreational activities, it places additional unintentional burdens on local governments. County governments operate and oversee senior citizen activities centers.…

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Counties Resist Bargaining Mandate for Community Colleges

On Friday, Michael Sanderson submitted written testimony in opposition to HB 766 Education - Community Colleges - Collective Bargaining. This bill would establish a uniform statewide collective bargaining process for community college employees, but would not provide local flexibility in the decision for this at county community colleges. From the MACo Testimony: Counties oppose the one-size-fits-all approach of HB 766, which limits local decision-making. The move to collective bargaining outlined in this bill could create…

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MACo: Bill Pits Costs Against Public Safety Operating Needs

On Thursday, Robin Clark Eilenberg submitted written testimony in opposition to SB 503/HB 1133 Military Service Credit - Eligibility. This bill would allow members of the State’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System to claim up to five years of service credit in the State’s Pension System even if they are already receiving a military retirement for their service. From the MACo Testimony: Six county governments participate in the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System to provide…

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MACo: Don’t Needlessly Shackle Speed Camera Programs

On Thursday, Les Knapp testified alongside a representative from Maryland Municipal League in opposition to HB 776 Vehicle Laws – Speed Monitoring Systems – Operation in School Zones. This bill would significantly undermine local school zone speed camera programs by imposing unreasonable, costly, and unnecessary requirements. From the MACo Testimony: HB 776 provides that for each school zone speed camera activated, placed, repaired, or altered on or after June 1, 2019, there must be a…

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