MACo Preemption Bill Withdrawn, Amidst Legal Questions

MACo's legislative initiative to target "implied preemption" has been withdrawn, amidst questions about whether a statutory approach to the issue could accomplish its intended goals. MACo and the LOCAL Maryland worked with Delegate Karen Lewis Young and Senator Clarence Lam to develop and introduce legislation to clarify the circumstances where the Maryland courts would find that local governments are preempted from local action. In recent years, the state courts have been inconsistent, but have sometimes…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Emergency Services and Intergovernmental Relations

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the policy areas of emergency services and intergovernmental relations in the 2020 General Assembly.  County governments lead the delivery of public safety services in Maryland – with responsibility for county fire, police, and emergency services. MACo’s advocacy in the area of emergency services includes urging needed state support for county public safety services such as 9-1-1 call centers, front-line county services, and natural disaster…

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Tracking State Responses to Coronavirus

As state and local governments adapt to continually changing public health challenges presented by the novel coronavirus many are looking to see what measures have been implemented in other areas. States and local jurisdictions are taking a wide range of actions to combat coronavirus, from appropriating emergency funds for public health efforts, to activating their national guard units, closing schools, restricting employee travel, and placing different limits on gatherings. Several organizations including The National Conference…

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NACo Calls on Congress to Send Coronavirus Resources Directly to Counties

In a letter to congressional leadership, the National Association of Counties (NACo) has urged for a portion of critical coronavirus resources to flow directly to nation's 3,069 counties: Counties nationwide are committed to working with both Congress and the Administration to advance legislation that assists with the mitigation of this public health crisis and its potential far-reaching economic, health, and safety impacts on our nation. We respectfully urge that a portion of the federal resources…

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MD, VA, District Leaders Call for President to Prioritize Capital Region’s COVID-19 Testing Sites

The Governors of Maryland and Virginia and the Mayor of the District of Columbia are calling on President Trump to add the National Capital Region to the priority locations for federally-supported COVID-19 testing sites. Together with @GovLarryHogan and @GovernorVA, we request that @realDonaldTrump adds the National Capital Region to the priority locations for federally-supported COVID-19 testing sites. Read more below. pic.twitter.com/2OrQwvqX5u — Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) March 16, 2020  

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Counties Support Stable Funding for Local Environmental Health Boards

MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified before the House Appropriations Committee to support HB 1484 (CF SB 673) - State Board of Environmental Health Specialists - Fees - General Fund. MACo also submitted testimony in February to support the cross-filed Senate Bill 673. This bill would help ensure stable and predictable funding for the State Board of Environmental Health Specialists, which is responsible for licensing Maryland's Local Environmental Health Directors. From the MACo Testimony: The…

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Counties Back Proposed Interjurisdictional Policing Grant Program

On March 12, 2020, MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu submitted written testimony to the Senate Judicial Proceedings and Budget & Taxation Committees to support SB 1051 (CF HB 1355) – Public Safety – Interjurisdictional Policing Grant Program – Establishment. This bill establishes an Interjurisdictional Policing Grant Program administered by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to provide financial support to counties to seeking to establish and implement collaboration agreements on interjurisdictional law enforcement…

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Counties Seek Representation on Council for Health in All Policies

MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu testified on March 11, 2020 to support with amendments HB 1528 (CF SB 716) - Maryland Council on Health in All Policies - Establishment. This bill would establish a Maryland Council on Health in All Policies that is charged with employing a health in all policies framework to examine the health of the residents of the state, ways state and local governments could collaborate to implement policies to improve the health…

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MACo: Cutting Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Payments Hurts Local Economies

On March 5, 2020, MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally submitted testimony to the House Ways & Means Committee in opposition to HB 1117 - Economic Development - Enterprise Zone Program - Alterations. This bill would limit the amount that the State must reimburse local governments for property tax credits issued under the Enterprise Zone tax credit program. From the MACo Testimony: The Enterprise Zone program helps incentivize businesses to locate or expand into several low-income or…

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White House to Host State and Local Briefing Call on COVID-19 (March 11)

On Wednesday, March 11, at 1:00 PM ET, please join Senior Federal Administration Officials for a briefing call on COVID-19 (coronavirus). This call is intended for county and municipal officials and will bring together members of the Coronavirus Task Force alongside our federal agency partners for a briefing and update. If you would like to join, registration instructions and additional background information are below. Please feel free to share this invitation with your county and/or…

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