2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Public Safety and Corrections

An overview of MACo’s advocacy on public safety and corrections legislation in the 2020 General Assembly. Counties are the primary provider of public safety services in the state. Each county is required to have an elected sheriff and some also have a county police force. Additionally, each county operates a local jail which holds inmates awaiting trial and those sentenced to 18 months or less. This year, for the first time in since the Civil…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Health and Human Services

An overview of MACo’s advocacy on health and human services legislation in the 2020 General Assembly. Each county in Maryland has a local health department that provides essential public health services to residents. They are also county agencies provide human or citizen services for children, families, and persons with special needs. MACo advocates actively for policies that continue to confront the opioid crisis and to support county health and social services programs. This year, for the…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Government Liability & Courts

This post summarizes the status of various government liability and courts bills that MACo took a position on during the 2020 Regular Session. County governments enforce laws, employee residents, and maintain facilities throughout Maryland. These various roles may place county governments, much like their counterparts in the private sector, as defendants in court, litigating cases involving employment benefits, injuries sustained on county properties, or other subjects. MACo’s advocacy in this area seeks to clarify the…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Taxes and Revenues

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of tax policy in the 2020 General Assembly.  The General Assembly routinely considers proposals to change tax structures, often seeking to stimulate economic growth, encourage beneficial activities, or attract and retain residents. These proposals often are focused exclusively on the state’s tax structure, but sometimes extend to local revenues as well. In general, MACo stands for local self-determination. Counties, led by their…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Business Affairs

An overview of MACo’s advocacy on business affairs legislation in the 2020 General Assembly. Through business affairs advocacy, MACo seeks to protect local regulatory and licensing authority, enhance citizens’ safety, and improve access to regulated services. 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. Consequently, many bills did not have…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Housing and Community Development

An overview of MACo’s advocacy on housing and community development legislation in the 2020 General Assembly. Under the umbrella of housing and community development, MACo advocates in support of legislation that advances local efforts to address public and affordable housing, blight, foreclosure, and community development. 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…

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Sine Die 2020: Where Do We Go From Here?

The Maryland General Assembly Legislation Session has adjourned early for the first time since the Civil War, ending on March 18 instead of April 6. With over 650 bills heading to Governor Hogan for signature, what happens now? What about the bills that failed? Is anything different because of the abbreviated session? What about talks of a "special session" later this year? As the General Assembly has adjourned Sine Die instead of simply recessing, the…

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Costly, Unbalanced Pension Enhancement Bill Dies in Committee

A costly, unbalanced pension enhancement bill did not receive a vote in the House Appropriations Committee, and therefore died when the General Assembly adjourned sine die. For county governments that participate in the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System (LEOPS), HB 659 would have required an automatic increase in county law enforcement pension benefits, and a new variable in county government pension contributions. The bill proposed to increase the normal service retirement benefit multiplier for members…

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