MACo Urges OPEB Trust to Be Added Under Local Tort Law

On 15, January 2021 MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified virtually before the House Judiciary Committee to support HB 378 - Local Government Tort Claims Act - Definition of Local Government. This bill would change the definition of local government to include MACo's Pooled OPEB Trust Fund under the Local Government Tort Claims Act. From the MACo Testimony: HB 378 seeks to specify that this Pooled Trust, clearly performing a governmental function on behalf of its member…

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SCOTUS: Registry Decision Must Come Through Courts

The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear a State court decision that only the courts may place individuals onto a sex offender registry - denying a petition from Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, defending an administrative effort to do so in one case. In August, Maryland’s Attorney General, Brian Frosh, submitted a petition to the United States Supreme Court seeking a review whether the Court of Appeals of Maryland came their ruling in…

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Hogan Announces Appointments to All Three Branches of MD Government

Governor Larry Hogan today announced appointments to all three branches of Maryland government. In total, Governor Hogan is submitting 274 appointments to the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate today. Legislative Appointments Michael Jackson has been a member of the House of Delegates since 2015 and currently serves on the Appropriations Committee. Jackson was the sheriff for Prince George’s County from 2002 to 2010. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from DeVry Institute and…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: COVID-19 Response and Relief

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we look at the state-level responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the many effects across Maryland. 2020 was marked, globally, by the outbreak of a pandemic - a novel coronavirus that has cost thousands of lives, and has undermined normal activity for most people. With vaccines hopefully in sight, policymakers face…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: Police Accountability Reforms

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly's work. Here, we preview accountability reforms for law enforcement agencies in Maryland. National attention has focused on police accountability - with wide-ranging stakeholders calling for changes to the laws governing discipline and accountability for officers accused of dangerous or criminal conduct in the line of duty. Maryland's legislative leaders have taken up these…

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Maryland Judiciary to Remain in Phase II for Spring

The Maryland Judiciary announced yesterday that it will extend Phase II operations of its five-phased progressive COVID-19 reopening plan to respond to the surge in COVID cases in Maryland through March 14, 2021. Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera issued five new administrative orders, one of which requires that the Judiciary’s Phase II operations plan remain in effect through March 14, 2021. Another order also extends the suspension of jury trials through…

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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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Hogan Announces Three Judicial Appointments

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the following judicial appointments: Erik Atas for Baltimore City Circuit Court Myshala Middleton for Baltimore City Circuit Court Karen Dean for Wicomico County Circuit Court “The appointment of these qualified individuals to serve across our state’s justice system is paramount to upholding our responsibilities to the people of Maryland and the rule of law,” said Governor Hogan. “I have every confidence that Mr. Atas, Ms. Middleton, and Ms. Dean will…

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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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Public Defender: Push Back More Misdemeanor Court Cases

Maryland Public Defender Paul DeWolfe has called on the Judiciary to delay more cases, due to COVID concerns. The Public Defender has issued a letter to Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, arguing that the State's return to heightened restrictions due to coronavirus spread should also trigger a delay in a wide swath of District Court proceedings. The request follows a Judiciary ruling that a variety of jury trials be postponed for similar reasons. From coverage…

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