MACo Supports Next Steps for Statewide 3-1-1 System

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally today submitted testimony in support of SB 631 - Public Safety - Statewide 3-1-1 Nonemergency Telephone System to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee This bill creates a statewide 3-1-1 telephone system to connect Marylanders to the government for non-emergency needs. The bill's sponsor and Chair of the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland, Senator Cheryl Kagan, submitted amendments to create a workgroup to determine how to best deploy 3-1-1…

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MACo: Streamline Emergency Management, Support for NG911

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday testified in support of SB 658 Maryland Department of Emergency Management - Establishment and Transfer of Maryland 9-1-1 Board before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. This bill elevates the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to the Governor's cabinet and transfers the Maryland 9-1-1 Board to MEMA. From the MACo Testimony: As a Cabinet-level entity, MEMA will be in a strong position to work directly with county…

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Federal FEMA Match Waived for COVID Crisis

President Biden issued a new executive memo that waives the 25% non-federal share for FEMA Category B public assistance related to the COVID national emergency - fulfilling a major priority for state and local governments. The announcement today includes specific retroactive eligibility from January 20, 2020 (start of the Stafford Act declarations for COVID) through January 20, 2021.  This has been a major ask of NACo and the "Big 7" state and local government advocacy…

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MACo: Streamline Communications Between State & Counties in Times of Crisis

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday testified in support of SB 68 - Maryland Department of Emergency Management – Establishment before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. This bill would elevate the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to a Cabinet-level entity, increasing its capacity to work with local jurisdictions in times of crisis. From the MACo Testimony: As a Cabinet-level entity, MEMA will be in a strong position to work directly with county emergency…

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Worcester County Forms Committee to Study Fire, EMS Issues

The Worcester County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to create a committee to tackle EMS and fire funding in the county. The committee will review options for the county's fire and EMS service, which has struggled in recent years to find funds to cover operations. Ocean City Fire Chief Richie Bowers spoke at the Commissioners' meeting on Tuesday, stressing that he was speaking on behalf of the fire companies as a unified group, as reported…

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MACo: Bolster Support for Essential Communication Networks

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday submitted written testimony to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 235 Major Information Technology Development Project Fund – Use of Funds. This bill would enhance funding for the Statewide Public Safety Interoperability Radio System, which is essential for county public safety agencies across Maryland. From the MACo Testimony: Counties appreciate efforts to support and enhance MD FiRST, as it continues to make public safety communications…

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MACo: Help Local Health Departments Boost Vaccination Rates

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally today testified virtually before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee in support of SB 67 - Emergency Medical Services - Paramedics- Vaccination Administration. This bill would strengthen local health departments’ ability to carry out targeted public health initiatives by authorizing paramedics to administer specified vaccines with proper training and oversight. From the MACo Testimony: SB 67 would authorize paramedics to administer vaccines on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and…

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Sun Previews Session “Major Issues”

The Baltimore Sun released a preview of major issues facing the General Assembly for the 2021 Session, including police reforms, education, sports wagering. With the 2021 reconvening of the Maryland General Assembly afoot, Maryland's top newspaper covers a range of issues expected to gather attention and ink in the weeks ahead. Unsurprisingly, police reforms are on that list, as many states have responded to calls for social justice in policing tactics and accountability. The legislature…

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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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Preview the 2021 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This year’s report also includes a special section devoted to issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in 2021 – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative…

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