Anne Arundel Hosting Community Dialogue Series

Anne Arundel County will host Making The Best Place For All Community Summit Series around the county in the coming weeks. County Executive Steuart Pittman and the county government team will meet with county residents in communities across the county in a conversational summit series to discuss community needs and policy. The series will take place at each of the county's nine regions; details are below. A county press release reads: Join County Executive Steuart…

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Monkeypox – A Maryland Primer

On May 19th, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) provided clinicians with guidance on Monkeypox, a disease slowly progressing throughout the United States. MDH, in its guidance document, describes Monkeypox transmission as through "large respiratory droplets, but also through direct contact with body fluids or skin lesions, including scabs." Indirect transmission is also possible through contact with contaminated materials and surfaces. The agency describes the symptoms of Monkeypox as follows: fever, headache, muscle aches, lymphadenopathy, and…

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Nearly $1.5 billion in Fed Funding Available for State Opioid Response

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released the next round of State Opioid Response (SOR) grant funding, amounting to nearly $1.5 billion spread over two years. SOR funding increases access to FDA-approved medications treating Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), and supports prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services for OUD and other substance use disorders (SUD). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra emphasized the need for state and local partnerships…

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Baltimore County Approves Establishment of Police Accountability Board

On Thursday, May 26th, the Baltimore County Council approved legislation establishing the county's police accountability board. Baltimore County Bill No. 24-22 establishes a "Police Accountability Board, an Administrative Charging Committee, and a Trial Board process" as required by the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021. As with Carroll County, Baltimore County will not allow residents with criminal backgrounds to serve on the Board. Specifically, one may not serve on Baltimore County's Board if they have…

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On Anniversary of Floyd’s Death, White House Tackles Police Reform

On Wednesday, May 25th, the White House will issue an executive order to promote police reform within state and local police agencies. The Washington Post notes federal grant funding will incentivize reform, including tightening "restrictions on the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants." Moreover, the federal government will restrict local law enforcement access to military equipment. Maryland likely benefits from the executive order as it continues to implement 2021's Police Accountability Act. The Act includes new…

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Baltimore City Introduces SMART Policing Efficiency Initiative

Today, Baltimore City unveiled its Strategic Management & Alternative Response Tactics (SMART) initiative focusing on the intelligent deployment of law enforcement resources to more effectively combat violent crime. The initiative includes: Providing Alternatives to the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) – BPD will dispatch alternative responses, including social workers and third-party vendors, to certain non-emergency call types directly and discontinue dispatching to officers. Traffic Accident Management – The city will engage a third-party vendor to respond to…

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Montgomery’s Rent Cap Expires

On Sunday, May 15th, Montgomery County's cap on rent increases established by Council Bill #30-21E - Landlord-Tenant Relations - Restrictions During Emergencies - Extended Limitations Against Rent Increases and Late Fees expired.  Council Member Will Jawando introduced the law intended to assist struggling residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, capping rent increases throughout the county for 90 days, beginning on February 14, 2022. The law prohibited landlords from increasing rents beyond the county's voluntary rent guidelines, set…

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US Justice Department Offering $40 Million for Community Policing

On Monday, May 9th, the U.S. Department of Justice made approximately $40 million in Community Policing Development (CPD) grants available, along with roughly $5 million for the Collaborative Reform Initiative.  Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta discussed the purpose of the funds in a press release: “Nothing is more important than keeping our communities safe,” said Associate Attorney General Gupta. “Each day, approximately half a million people throughout the United States call 911 for help and there…

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Carroll Builds Its Police Accountability Board

On Thursday, May 5th, the Board of Carroll County Commissioners voted on a resolution establishing its police accountability board (PAB) as required by state law. Each county in Maryland is required to create a police accountability board by the 2021 Police Accountability Act. Under the Act, PABs comprised of entirely of civilian members are charged with meeting quarterly with law enforcement leadership to improve matters of policing and to hear complaints of police misconduct. Each…

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The Opioid Settlements: Where Are We Now?

The Maryland General Assembly passed, and Governor Larry Hogan has signed, House Bill 1086/Senate Bill  419 - Opioid Restitution Fund - Appropriation of Settlement Funds and Grant Program, which codifies a division of funds agreement between the state and local subdivisions (counties and municipalities) regarding several recent opioid settlements. In November of 2021, MACo, The Maryland Municipal League, and Attorney General Brian Frosh's Office began work on the agreement controlling approximately $395 million in settlement funds…

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