County Officials and Chief Information Security Officer John Evans Connect at Cybersecurity Forum

  The future of cybersecurity in Maryland is not only a hot topic around the state. It was a hot topic at the MACo Summer Conference! At the "Cybersecurity Forum" attendees were afforded the opportunity to discuss the topic with the new State Chief Information Security Officer, John Evans.    Evans provided brief updates on his new role and vision for cybersecurity in Maryland and spent the majority of the forum answering questions from audience members.…

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Don’t Be Tempted to Be Preempted

Think you have local authority to regulate in a policy area because state law is silent on the issue? Think again because a court may find you have no authority under the legal doctrine of “implied preemption.” At this year's MACo Summer Conference, a panel of experts discussed the implied preemption doctrine, detailed specific examples where county authority has been challenged — including two recent high profile court decisions on solar siting and pesticide regulation,…

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Rural County Coalition Talks Preemption, Solar Siting, & Kirwan at 2019 Summer #MACoCon

The Rural County Coalition received policy updates on solar siting and education funding issues at its 2019 MACo Summer Conference breakfast on August 15. Maryland Secretary of Natural Resources Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio gave some brief welcoming remarks. MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp then provided an update on two recent implied preemption cases involving the residential application of pesticides and the siting of large solar facilities. Knapp noted that while the courts found in favor…

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Court of Special Appeals Vacates Takings Judgment Against Harford County

A Harford County press release (2019-08-01) announced that the Maryland Court of Special Appeals has ruled for Harford County in a longstanding dispute with Maryland Reclamation Associates, Inc. (MRA) that could have set a new precedent on property takings through inverse condemnation. MRA sought to establish a rubble landfill outside of Havre de Grace in the early 1990s. However, the County denied multiple applications from MRA for zoning variances and MRA initiated litigation. In 2010,…

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Carroll Joins Ranks of Counties Filing Suit Against Opioid Makers

Carroll County is the latest jurisdiction in Maryland to file suit against opioid drug manufacturers and distributors.  The county is pursuing the case in state court rather than joining the federal suit. The Baltimore Sun reports: The Carroll lawsuit, filed July 25 in Carroll County Circuit Court, seeks redress for damages from 29 pharmaceutical companies or their subsidiaries — including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the opioid medication known as…

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Learn How Implied Preemption Can Limit Your Local Authority at #MACoCon

Think you have local authority to regulate in a policy area because state law is silent on the issue? Think again because a court may find you have no authority under the legal doctrine of "implied preemption." Learn about implied preemption, including two recent high profile court decisions on solar siting and pesticide regulation, at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference. Don't Be Tempted to Be Preempted Description The state can pass laws to preempt local…

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Court of Appeals Holds Solar Siting Decisions Are Made by the State, Not by Local Zoning

The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled that local land use is impliedly preempted by the state over the siting of large solar facilities. The Court's decision in Board of County Commissioners of Washington County, Maryland v. Perennial Solar, LLC, means that the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has the final say on the location of solar projects that require a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the PSC. The CPCN requirement applies…

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DEA Data: U.S. Saturated with 76 Billion Opioid Pills Over Nearly a Decade’s Time

Newly released Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) data shows how between 2006 and 2012 drug companies manufactured and distributed more than 76 billion opioid pills across the country. The DEA's Automation of Reports and Consolidated Order System (ARCOS) follows the path of each pill from the manufacturer to the local pharmacy and includes detailed information such as drug codes, DEA registration numbers, seller and buyer contact, transaction dates, and dosages of the drugs. The Washington Post's investigative…

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States Sue IRS Over SALT Workaround Rule

Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York yesterday announced lawsuits challenging U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Treasury Department regulations that block attempts to circumvent the federal cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT). The 2017 federal tax overhaul capped SALT deductions at $10,000 – a move of particular import in states like Maryland. In response, some states passed legislation to allow local governments to create charitable funds to pay for local…

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