Fentanyl Driving Still-Troubling Opioid Caseloads, Fatalities

The latest Maryland data on opioid related fatalities show a chilling picture - fentanyl is driving opioid deaths beyond those from 2019, likely arising from multiple social causes. From the latest Maryland release: According to MDH’s Vital Statistics Administration, there were 2,025 unintentional intoxication deaths involving all types of drugs and alcohol in Maryland between January and September of 2020. This figure represents a 12.1 percent increase from the same period in 2019, when there…

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Sun Previews Session “Major Issues”

The Baltimore Sun released a preview of major issues facing the General Assembly for the 2021 Session, including police reforms, education, sports wagering. With the 2021 reconvening of the Maryland General Assembly afoot, Maryland's top newspaper covers a range of issues expected to gather attention and ink in the weeks ahead. Unsurprisingly, police reforms are on that list, as many states have responded to calls for social justice in policing tactics and accountability. The legislature…

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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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State Issues New CARES/CRF Guidance After Federal Bill Enacted
Courtesy of the Maryland Manual
State Issues New CARES/CRF Guidance After Federal Bill Enacted

The Maryland Department of Budget and Management has issued new guidance to counties regarding the uses and timing of federal funds issued through the CARES Act - notably an extension through 2021 for its continued use. With the federal relief legislation passed, and finally signed into law by the President, the final pieces of implementation (mainly at the State level) have fallen into place. Namely, the State has issued its revised guidance for the spending…

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State Launches COVID-19 Vaccination Data Dashboard

The State of Maryland today launched a new COVID-19 vaccination data dashboard on coronavirus.maryland.gov, updating its standard daily COVID-19 reporting with additional metrics, including statewide vaccinations by region, age group, gender, race, and ethnicity. The launch comes as Maryland continues Phase 1A of its COVID-19 vaccination plan with the arrival of Moderna vaccines earlier this week. “Today we have launched an innovative dashboard that will allow Marylanders to track the progress of COVID-19 vaccinations across the state,” said…

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Mayor Scott Establishes New Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement

Today, Mayor Brandon Scott announced the creation of a new office designed to coordinate city agencies and community partners in the fight against violence in Baltimore. The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) will create cross-agency goals that engage law enforcement agencies such as the Baltimore Police Department and the State's Attorney's Office, in addition to city agencies such as the Health Department and Recreation and Parks. MONSE will be taking a more…

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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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Mayor Scott Announces COVID-19 Emergency Food Strategy

Mayor Brandon Scott on Friday outlined Baltimore City’s four-point COVID-19 Emergency Food Strategy, which includes a commitment of over $5.3 million dollars to provide 20,000 food boxes per week to residents disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID-19 has deepened the inequity of food insecurity, especially in our Latinx and Black and Brown communities,” said Mayor Brandon Scott. “As we approach the new year, many Baltimoreans are concerned about losing valuable federal resources that will…

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House Sends Rep. Trone’s Inmate Mental Health Bill to President

A bi-partisan bill, championed by bill sponsor Rep. David Trone (MD-6), addressing mental health services for incarcerated people in federal and state prisons received a unanimous House of Representatives vote, and will be sent to the President to be signed into law. Today, Representative David Trone (MD-06) announced that his bipartisan legislation, the Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Act of 2020, which would support mental health treatment for incarcerated individuals, unanimously passed the House of…

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State Vaccination Plan Includes Focused Roll-Out

The framework for Maryland's distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has been released - and includes distribution categories for populations to receive it, beginning with health care workers and senior living residents. The plan, summarized in a brief document distributed by the Maryland Department of Health, seeks to distribute vaccine in multiple stages, targeting workers with high exposure and highest risk populations as early as possible. A summary of the plan's major components covers the essentials and…

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