Can States Cover the Costs of Near Universal Health Care Plans?

Recently, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and California Governor Gavin Newsom announced proposals to increase the number of people with health insurance coverage in their respective jurisdictions. As reported by Governing, their local proposals include restoring the individual mandate, expanding the number of people receiving subsidies to cover the costs, and covering some portion of undocumented immigrants -- changes that would amount to hundreds of thousands more people being insured. As noted in…

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Conduit Street Podcast: 2019 Session Preview

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast. You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website.

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2018 Legislative Handbook Series – An Indispensable Reference

The Department of Legislative Services has released its quadrennial Legislative Handbook Series, a deep and useful reference series that encapsulates nearly every issue of government at the state and local level. The series may be downloaded or viewed online for free at the links below: Legislative Handbook Series: Vol 1 – Legislators Handbook Vol 2 – Government Services Vol 3 – Revenue Structure Vol 4 – Budget Process Vol 5 – Personnel, Pensions & Procurement…

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From Weeds to Wells to Wellness Local Health Departments are Always on the Job

Local Health Departments (LHDs) play a broad and critical role in protecting the public's health. As attendees to the MACo Winter Conference session, "Protecting the Public's Health: Weeds to Wells to Wellness," learned the full scope of what they do and the health and economic impacts they have on local communities is not always evident.   Kevin Sumner, President of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)  set the stage with a  look…

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#MACoCon Provides Naloxone and CPR Training

MACo January 2019 Winter Conference attendees received important life saving training in handling opioid overdose and hands-only CPR. The panel, “Stayin’ Alive” – Learn to Save a Life with Naloxone Training for Opioid Overdoes and Hands-Only CPR, was held on Thursday, January 3.   Baltimore County Health Officer and Director of Health and Human Services Gregory Brach and Garret County Health Officer Robert Stephens conducted the training. Attendees learned how to identify and handle someone…

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Opioid Questions Asked and Answered at #MACoCon Round Table

The MACo Winter Conference closed out with an interactive round table session that provided an opportunity for audience members and panelists to share insights and answer questions related to what's working, what's not, and what is next for the opioid crisis. The first half of the session was a Q&A between facilitator Nastassia Walsh, Program Manager, National Association of Counties (NACo), and panelists Steve Schuh, Executive Director, Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC); Birch Barron, Deputy Director, Opioid…

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Breaking Behavioral Health Barriers Behind Bars and in the Communities

Attendees of the MACo Winter Conference session, Who's Falling Through the Cracks: Addressing Gaps in Behavioral Health Services, heard frank discussions from panelists on the scope of behavioral health issues in local communities as well as what is being done what more is needed to close gaps in addressing behavioral health issues. Much of the discussion centered around the criminal justice population. Dan Martin Senior Director of Public Policy for the Mental Health Association of Maryland (MHAMD)…

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County Human Services Deliver Seamless Support for Community Members in Crisis

At the MACo Winter Conference session, Constituents in Crisis: Human Services to the Rescue!, audience members learned about the broad continuum of county agencies and programs that are dedicated to providing community-based services to address the special needs of children, families, older adults, and persons with disabilities. Christine Kay, Director of the Carroll County Department of Citizen Services started the panel off with explanation of how county human service agencies (also known as citizen services or community…

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Federal Prosecutors Launch “SOS” Program to Pursue Fentanyl Cases in Baltimore

In an Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun, U.S. Attorney for Maryland, Robert K. Hur, explains a new initiative his office is launching to ramp of federal enforcement of criminal fentanyl distribution cases in Baltimore: Under this program, every arrest in Baltimore for fentanyl distribution will be reviewed jointly by the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland to determine whether the case will be prosecuted in…

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Howard Police Expand Mental Health Unit, Tackle Red Flags

The Howard County Police Department has expanded its mental health unit from one officer and one mental health professional to three officers and one mental health professional to help bolster local efforts to support the state's red flag law. The expanded unit work will work closely with other government agencies to process red flags. The Baltimore Sun reports: Llewellyn said that in Howard, members of the police department’s mental health unit have discussed the process…

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