MACo Announces 2020 Legislative Initiatives

MACo to prioritize education funding, school construction, health crises, and implied preemption in the 2020 session.  MACo’s Legislative Committee voted at their September 18, 2019 meeting to adopt the Association’s four priorities for the 2020 Session. These issues cover a broad range of important county concerns that MACo will proactively advocate for in front of the General Assembly. School Funding – Funding Fairness, County Role The 2020 Session will feature a generational debate about school…

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Carroll Increases Security at County Office Building

To enhance the safety of all who visit and work at the Carroll County Office Building in Westminster, sheriff's deputies will be posted at the front entrance beginning on Thursday, September 19th. The change marks the first step of the County's plan to enhance security at the complex. In August, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) voted unanimously to move forward with security enhancements  – including sheriff's deputies – for the County Office Building, including an…

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Frederick Launches Text Alerts to Enhance Public Safety at Special Events

Frederick County is making it easier for residents to get notified in case of an emergency. The Frederick County Division of Emergency Management announced that Alert Frederick County, the County’s official emergency notification program, now offers an opt-in text service to provide emergency information to attendees of large-scale special events in Frederick County. “We are leveraging technology so the public can stay informed in a way that is easy and convenient to them,” County Executive Jan…

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Delegates Urge BPW to Compensate Wrongfully Convicted; Governor Hints at New Process

Fifty delegates, including House Speaker Adrienne Jones, have sent a letter to the Board of Public Works -- Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp -- calling on the board to exercise its authority under Maryland law to pay $12 million to five wrongfully convicted men who collectively spent over a century in prison. From The Baltimore Sun: “Five petitioners — Jerome Johnson, Lamar Johnson, Walter Lomax, Clarence Shipley and Hubert James Williams — spent a combined 120…

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Facebook Tool Allows Local Governments to Send Emergency Alerts

Facebook is expanding a tool that allows local governments and first responders to communicate time-sensitive and need-to-know information to people on the social media network. The tech giant plans to make the local alert tool available to all eligible Facebook pages in the United States by the end of the year. More than 350 local governments have used local alerts as part of a pilot program Facebook launched in November to communicate everyday emergencies —…

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Counties, Tune Your Scanners to the Volunteer Fire Channel

Panelists at MACo's Summer Conference urged increased communication and partnership between state and county governments and volunteer fire departments. Participants in MACo's Summer Conference Session, Sound the Siren: Maryland's Volunteer Fire Service Needs Help all shared their interest and longtime support for Maryland's volunteer fire companies. Many also shared personal stories that made attendees realize the profound changes that have taken place over the past half-century throughout the US. Sam Goldwater, Strategic Planning Chief of…

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Access to MAT: What Does it Mean for Maryland Counties?

With legislation recently passed by the Maryland General Assembly, providing inmates with access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders is a hot topic. HB 116, sponsored by Delegate Erek Barron, requires all county jails and the Baltimore City Detention Center to provide their inmates with access to the full range of MAT (e.g. buprenorphine, methadone, naltrexone) within the next few years. Weber went through the implementation of MAT, including the screen process for…

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Tips on How to Recognize and Avoiding an Opioid Overdose

Dr. Gregory Branch, MD, MBA, CPE, FACP, Health Officer/Director, Baltimore County, led an intimate, hands-on approach on to how to save a life with Naloxone (NARCAN). Dr. Branch started the “Stayin’ Alive” Session by breaking down exactly what an opioid is, how to prevent an overdose, how to recognize an overdose, and how to respond to an overdose. Critical Tips for Preventing Opioid Overdoses: Keep all medicine in a safe place, such as a locked…

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Hogan Talks Education, Land Use, & Rural Broadband at 2019 Summer #MACoCon

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan gave the closing address to the 2019 MACo Summer Conference on August 17, touching on a variety of issues including: economic growth, land use, rural broadband, and education. Referencing the conference theme of “Winds of Change,” Hogan stated that “we have brought real and lasting change to Maryland.”   Economic Growth Hogan stated that Maryland has had “the biggest economic turnaround in America” and has gone from losing more than 100,000…

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Surviving an Active Shooter Situation at 2019 Summer #MACoCon

Attendees to the 2019 MACo Summer Conference learned how to survive an active shooter situation during the “Active Shooter Response Training” panel on August 17. Harford County Sheriff’s Office Sniper Section Coordinator and Deputy First Class Thomas Wehrle conducted the class and defined an “active shooter situation” as when an individual is actively engaged in killing and is not when the shooter is dead, not killing, or barricaded. Most active shooter incidents are over in…

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