Counties Sign On to Historic $400 Million Opioid Settlements

The State of Maryland and 58 of its 60 qualifying subdivisions have elected to participate in opioid medication settlement agreements with opioids manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and three major opioids distributors, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health. Altogether, the settlements are worth approximately $400 million to be paid over the next 18 years. MACo worked alongside the Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland Municipal League (MML) to craft an agreement between the State and…

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Counties, Health Officers Urge Protections for Health Workers

On January 25, 2022, MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson joined health officers and other stakeholders, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in support of HB 267 - Criminal Law - Threat Against Public Health Official or Hospital Staff Member. This bill, sponsored by Delegate Karen Lewis Young, prohibits a person from making or sending a threat to a public health official with the intent to intimidate, interfere with, or impede a public health official from…

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AG Pens Revised Opioid Settlement Agreement for County Review, Opt-In Decisions
Attorney General Brian Frosh moderates MACo's session on water law
AG Pens Revised Opioid Settlement Agreement for County Review, Opt-In Decisions

After months of discussion, the Attorney General's Office, alongside a workgroup of MACo and Maryland Municipal League representatives, submitted a revised memorandum of understanding (MOU) to county leadership regarding the distribution of funds from the Johnson and Johnson opioid medication lawsuit. Under an extended deadline, counties have until January 26 to make a final decision whether to "opt in" and accept the terms of the settlement, and withdraw any current or future litigation claims. The…

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Police Training Commission: No Regs Coming on Police Reform Structures, Process

The Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission deferred action on regulations to guide the implementation of legislated police reforms, which take effect July 1, 2022. Legal guidance on specific issues may be forthcoming from the Office of the Attorney General, but counties should not expect broad formal regulatory guidance as they work toward local implementation of the new law's many provisions. County governments have certain specific responsibilities under HB 670, the broad law enforcement reform…

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Major Opioid Settlement “Opt-In” Deadline Extended to January 26

The pending multi-governmental settlement with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and three major medical distributors has been delayed. Maryland counties will have until January 26 (previously January 2) to decide whether to opt into the terms. A revised intrastate agreement governing the state/local distribution and uses of these funds should be available in the days ahead. The pending settlement between a multitude of state and local government plaintiffs and several players in the opioid business…

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Lights, Camera, Action: Talking Bodycams at Winter #MACoCon

During the 2021 MACo Winter Conference, a panel of policing experts discussed a major policy shift requiring body worn cameras on all law enforcement officers throughout Maryland. Under recently a recently adopted state law, counties and their law enforcement partners will be responsible for both procuring the equipment needed and implementing required policies for this new reality. Storage, redaction, and distribution of the resulting footage will also challenge local resources and require smart planning. Panelists discussed overcoming the…

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Righting a Wrong: Discussing the Opioid Settlement at Winter #MACoCon

At this year's Winter MACo Conference, the Attorney General was joined by several local government representatives to discuss Maryland's settlement with Johnson and Johnson and three major distributors of opioid medication.  The settlement has raised the incredibly important question of "How do we best help the victims of opioid overdose and overdose death, and prevent future victims?" With settlement funds on the way, panelists presented state and local perspectives on this matter, and the most equitable way…

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LGIT Seeking Search Firms for 2022 Executive Director Search

The Local Government Insurance Trust, primary insurance carrier for local governments across the state, will conduct an Executive Director Search in the months ahead, and is seeking executive search firms to assist in that process. LGIT is the member owned Trust that serves county and municipal governments across Maryland with stable, predictable, coverage and excellent member service. LGIT's Executive Director Tim Ailsworth plans to retire from his position in 2022, and the Trust is beginning…

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MACo Appoints Seven to AG’s Opioid Settlement Workgroup
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (source: Maryland Manual Online)
MACo Appoints Seven to AG’s Opioid Settlement Workgroup

On Friday, November 5th, MACo submitted the names of seven county officials to the Maryland Attorney General's Office to participate in the Johnson and Johnson opioid settlement workgroup. The workgroup is a partnership between the Attorney General, MACo, and the Maryland Municipal league to both discuss the current settlement proposal and mutually agree on potential revisions. MACo's appointments include: James R. Benjamin, Jr., County Attorney, Baltimore County Hamilton F. Tyler, Deputy County Attorney, Anne Arundel…

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