Will 2021 Bring a Wave of Evictions?

The General Assembly considered, but did not pass, legislation to codify Maryland's current policy staving off evictions of lease-holding tenants -  advocates worry that may open the door to widespread "failure to pay" evictions. Among the subjects of extensive government assistance has been renter relief - seeking to avoid massive tenant evictions while many Americans have lost their regular incomes due to economic disruptions of the pandemic. The rights of tenants "holding over" after the…

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2021 End of Session Wrap-Up: Health and Human Services

An overview of MACo's advocacy on health and human services legislation in the 2021 General Assembly.  Each county in Maryland has a local health department that plays a role in providing essential public health services to residents, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also county agencies that provide human or citizen services for children, families ad persons with special needs. MACo advocates actively for policies that continue to confront the opioid crisis…

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Anne Arundel, Annapolis Offer Residents Free/Discounted Transportation to Mass Vax Site

County and City officials have taken steps to ensure transportation will not be a barrier to getting vaccinated. Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley announced on April 13 a collaborative effort to provide county residents with free and discounted transportation to and from the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium mass vaccination site, which opens April 15. Details for scheduled transportation with the County are available in the county press release. The…

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Counties Central on Post-Pandemic Mental Health Efforts

A report from NACo and the National Council for Behavioral Health details county governments role in mental health services, and illustrates a clinic-based model for that approach that may be well-suited for the post-pandemic environment. This article is drawn from our partners at the National Association of Counties, whose blog routinely contains topics of major interest to Maryland counties. America’s 3,069 counties are integral to the nation’s behavioral health system, making fiscal investments in both…

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Schrader Confirmed as Maryland Health Secretary

New State Health Secretary Dennis Schrader was confirmed by the Senate to assume his full role, following dense vaccine oversight meetings throughout the session. Dennis Schrader, now formally the Maryland Secretary of Health, received his full confirmation of the Senate on Friday April 2. The approval came toward the end of the legislative session, where public health matters, and COVID vaccinations in particular, have occupied much public attention and concern. Whie the final vote on…

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CDC, HHS Announce Grant Programs to Improve Vaccine and Health Equity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health and Human Services (HHS) in recent weeks have announced multiple grant programs that aim to improve equity in COVID-19 treatment and vaccine access. Counties may apply directly for these grant programs prior to the deadlines later this month. A list of eligible applicants and estimated funding award amounts is available here. Applications for the grants are due April 30, 2021. According to the National Association…

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MD’s COVID Vax Opening to All Adults; County Equity Plans Due April 5

During the Governor's COVID/vaccination press announcements, he opened up pre-registration to all Maryland adults to be vaccinated, and urged counties to submit locally designed vaccination equity plans. From today's announcements, courtesy of the Governor's office: COUNTY EQUITY PLANS DUE BY MONDAY, APRIL 5 MDH has directed all local health officers to submit equity plans to the state no later than Monday, April 5. In February, the state asked each county to appoint a liaison to the Maryland…

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Frederick Expands Mobile Crisis Services

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today announced the expansion of an innovative program that provides residents with mobile crisis services. The Mobile Crisis Services team brings social workers, counselors, and other specialists to people suffering from substance abuse, homelessness, or mental health concerns. Starting this week, Mobile Crisis Services are available seven days a week, 12 hours a day for adults, and 24 hours a day for children. Frederick County Health Department’s Behavioral Health Services…

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Federal Eviction Moratorium Extended Through June 30

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an extension of its public health driven moratorium on residential evictions, through June 30, 2021. The order, issued March 29, extends these temporary provisions as a response to the ongoing pandemic. The CDC has extended its moratorium on residential evictions through June 30 of this year, through action taken today. The full order details the background and underpinnings of the decision, and offers insight into the…

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MDE Urging Marylanders to Test Their Homes for Radon

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is urging Marylanders to consider testing their homes for radon by accessing a reduced price ($3) radon test kit. During National Radon Action Month in January, approximately 1,500 radon test kits were sent out to Marylanders who were eager to learn about the radon levels in their homes. Radon exposure is a health hazard with a simple solution. Radon is an invisible, odorless radioactive gas in the earth…

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