CURRENT ISSUES: LEGISLATION

Montgomery County Civic Federation, Inc.


[MCCF Liaison to the Committee for Montgomery]

MCCF MEETING WITH THE REDISTRICTING COMMISSION

On Monday, July 12, 2021, the Montgomery County Civic Federation hosted a special briefing by the County’s Commission on Redistricting via Zoom.
There will be two new County Council Districts created for a total of seven Districts.  The Commission on Redistricting was created in February 2021 by the Montgomery County Council.  The Commission’s mission is to present a plan of Council districts, together with a report explaining it, to the Council.
The Montgomery County Charter, as amended by the voters in the 2020 general election, states that the County shall be divided into seven Council districts for the purpose of nominating and electing seven members of the Council.  Each district shall be compact in form and be composed of adjoining territory.  Prior to the recent election, the Charter required the County to be divided into five Council districts.  The new requirement for seven districts will apply to the 2022 election, and the County Council will consist of eleven members, with four at-large members.
The objectives for the new Council districts are:
■  Equal Population: Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that the legislative districts across states be equal in population.
■  Compactness: Having the minimum distance between all the parts of a constituency (a circle, square or a hexagon is the most compact district).
■  Contiguity: All parts of a district being connected at some point with the rest of the district.
■  Minority Representation: consideration of areas of population with majority of minorities.
■  Preservation of counties and other political subdivisions: This refers to not crossing county, city, or town, boundaries when drawing districts.
■  Preservation of communities of interest: Geographical areas, such as neighborhoods of a city or regions of a state, where the residents have common political interests that do not necessarily coincide with the boundaries of a political subdivision, such as a city or county.
COMMISSION ON REDISTRICTING

STATE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BILLS

Local bills for introduction in the Maryland State General Assembly, both Montgomery County and Bi-County MC/PG legislation, can be viewed online.
VIEW LOCAL BILLS

DECEMBER 2020 PRESENTATIONS

The December 14, 2020, MCCF meeting previewed the 2021 Maryland State legislative session.  The speakers were Maryland State Senator Craig Zucker and Maryland State Delegate Marc Korman.  Links to both a YouTube video of the online meeting and the speakers’s joint PowerPoint presentation are below.
VIEW MEETING VIDEO [1:42:03]
VIEW SPEAKERS’ PRESENTATION

MCCF SUPPORTS ‘9 DISTRICTS’ COUNTY COUNCIL

At its October 12, 2020, meeting, the Montgomery County Civic Federation, Inc., reaffirmed its support for a general election County Ballot Question that would establish a “9 District” Montgomery County Council.  MCCF reaffirms support for 9 Districts and Question D.
VIEW STATEMENT

EXEMPT WSSC FROM FOREST CONSERVATION ACT

Two 2014 General Assembly local bills to exempt WSSC from Forest Conservation Act and Local Street Tree Regulations have been withdrawn.  See synopses below:
■  PG/MC 104-14 For the purpose of exempting from certain forest conservation requirements any cutting or clearing of forest necessary for access to Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission infrastructure or otherwise associated with the rehabilitation or maintenance of Commission infrastructure; making this Act an emergency measure; and generally relating to forest conservation and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.
READ MCCF TESTIMONY ON MC/PG 104-14
■  PG/MC 105-14 For the purpose of prohibiting a county or municipality from adopting a local law or ordinance for the planting, care, and protection of roadside trees that applies to emergency or mandated maintenance of public utility rights-of-way; prohibiting a county or municipality from adopting a local law or ordinance that applies to the cutting or clearing of public utility rights-of-way or land for the repair, rehabilitation, operation, inspection, reconstruction, or maintenance of water lines, sewer lines, and appurtenances; and generally relating to roadside trees.

COUNTY REDISTRICTING

County Council approved new Council district boundaries on November 29, 2011.  Members of the Redistricting Commission proposed two different maps for redrawing the County’s Councilmanic districts.  The new districts, if approved, will be used in the County Council election in 2014.  The Commission heard public comment on 9/1/11, then made their recommendation to the County Council.  The Council held its public hearing on 11/1/11; considered the issue during their session on Tuesday, 11/8/11 (straw vote of 9 yeas to approve Bill 31-11, to accept the recommended boundaries with no change); final action to approve bill took place on 11/29/11.
LINKS TO 2011 PROPOSED MAPS
COUNCIL APPROVED BILL 31-11

MONTGOMERY COUNTY STATE DELEGATION 2012 FALL SCHEDULE

The 2012 State Legislature session will begin in January of the year.  In preparation for that session, the Montgomery County Delegation has the following fall meetings that generally of widespread interest to citizens:
■  Consolidated Transportation Program Presentation (‘Road Show’) by State Highway Administration. Thursday, 9/15/11, 7:00 p.m., 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850.  The Road Show will be carried live over County Cable Montgomery (Channel 6 on Comcast and Channel 30 on Verizon).
■  Joint House and Senate Priorities Hearing. Wednesday, 11/16/11, 7:00 p.m., 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850. This hearing is an opportunity for the public to respond to the Road Show and to bring other issues of importance for the 2012 Session to the attention of the legislators.
■  House Hearing for Local Bills. Monday, 12/5/11, 7:00 p.m., 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850. Local bills refer to legislation affecting issues specific to Montgomery County.
■  House Hearing for Bicounty Bills. Wednesday, 12/7/11, 7:00 p.m.,- 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850. Bi-County bills refer to legislation that requires the approval of the Montgomery County and the Prince George’s County Delegations.

ROADSIDE SOLICITATION BILL

Maryland State bill HB720 [2012 General Assembly] would authorize county to create a roadside solicitation permit program or to ban the practice.
MCCF LETTER URGING PASSAGE

FUND PUBLIC SCHOOL VIA COUNTY PROPERTY TAX

State bill HB1352 introduced “authorizing county boards of education to impose, by resolution, a property tax to provide funding for public school operation and expenses,” in addition to county property tax.
SEE EDUCATION ISSUES
■ Not reported out of Ways and Means Committee for House vote.

EXCLUSIVE AUTHORITY TO ISSUE PERMITS FOR SCHOOL BUILDINGS

MC 11-11, Montgomery County – School Buildings – Exclusive Authority to Issues Permits and Enforce Regulations and Codes.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
VIEW MCCF TESTIMONY ON MC 11-11
■ 4/9/11, bill withdrawn by sponsor.

ALLOW VOTERS TO PETITION TO REFERENDUM ZONING

MC/PG 101-11, Montgomery County — allow voters to petition to referendum Zoning Text Amendments and Zoning Map Amendments.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
MCCF TESTIMONY ON MC/PG 101-11
■ Bill withdrawn.

ROADSIDE SOLICITATION TASK FORCE

The county’s Roadside Solicitation Task Force issued its Final Report in November 2010.  The recommendations could result in State or County legislation.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
TASK FORCE FINAL REPORT ATTACHMENT G: PHOTOS
■ On January 31, 2011, County Executive Leggett transmitted the Roadway Solicitation Task Force Final Report to the County Council: Attachment G, the set of photos accompanying the Report, was not included.
CE’S TRANSMITTAL MEMO TO COUNCIL
■ State legislation has been introduced to authorize the county to create a roadside solicitation permit program: MC 20-11, Montgomery County - Solicitation of money or donations from occupants of vehicles - adoption of a permit program; a 2/11/11 meeting of the Montgomery County House Delegation was held.
VIEW MC 20-11
■ At 2/14/11 MCCF meeting, delegates voted unanimously to support passage of this legislation; MCCF presented oral testimony to the county House delegation on 2/20/11 supporting passage of the bill and urging acceptance of a friendly amendment to allow an outright ban.
■ On 3/11/11, Delegate Kaiser, sponsor of MC 20-11, withdrew the immediately bill prior to the scheduled vote of the county House delegation.

MERGE PARK POLICE INTO COUNTY POLICE

A bill, MC/PG 112-11, has been introduced in the Maryland General Assembly to merge the Montgomery County Park Police into the county Police Department, and effect transfer of Park Police property to MCPD.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
VIEW MC/PG 112-11
VIEW PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUES
■ At 2/14/11 MCCF meeting, majority of delegates voted to urge action on this bill be deferred.
■ Bill withdrawn.

ALLOW ELECTIONEERING WITHIN 25 FEET

MCCF tracking MC 9-11, a bill to allow electioneering within 25 ft. from entrance to polling places, rather than the current 100 ft.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
■ At 2/14/11 MCCF meeting, majority of delegates voted to support passage of this legislation if amended to change distance to 50 ft. from entrance to polling places, not 25 ft. as currently called for in the bill.

MARYLAND ELECTRICITY SERVICE QUALITY AND RELIABILITY ACT

MCCF tracking HB391/SB692, Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act.  Bills require the Public Service Commission (PSC) to set electricity standards for frequency of outages and outage duration and would apply to all major electric distribution companies operating in Maryland. Strongly suggest that national measures be used and specifies that the policy of the state would be that the standard must be in the fourth (or highest) quartile of electric companies nationally. The bills require the standards be adopted by July 2012 (or 2013 in Senate bill) and that PSC determine by July 2013 whether the standards are being met. Requires a penalty if standards not met, which can’t be passed onto the ratepayer.  Funds collected under penalty would be returned to affected ratepayers.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
■ At 2/14/11 MCCF meeting, majority of delegates voted to support passage of this legislation.  Click below to view testimony delivered to House committee on 2/20/11 (same as Senate testimony, except for bill number and committee name).
MCCF TESTIMONY ON HB 391
■ 4/11/11 measure approved by General Assembly.

BOE WAIVER FROM MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT REQUIREMENT

MCCF tracking HR44/SB53, Education – Waiver from Maintenance of Effort Requirement – Process and Factors.  The bills would alter the date by which a county governing body must make a request to the State Board of Education for a waiver from the maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement; would require the State Board to consider additional factors (including the ability of the county to fund an increase during difficult economic times) when making a decision whether to grant a waiver; would require the State Superintendent of Schools to make a preliminary assessment of waiver applications by a specified time.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
■ At 2/14/11 MCCF meeting, delegates voted unanimously to support passage of this legislation.  Click below to view MCCF testimony delivered to House committee on 2/20/11 (same as Senate testimony, except for bill number and committee name).
MCCF TESTIMONY ON HR 44

TRANSPORTATION TRUST FUND PROTECTION ACT

MCCF tracking HB518/SB677, Transportation Trust Fund Protection Act, which would amend the Maryland Constitution to establish the Transportation Trust Fund to be used only for purposes of transportation with an exception that it can be used in the case of a major catastrophe or during a declared state of emergency when the funds are necessary for the immediate preservation of public health or safety.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
■ At 2/14/11 MCCF meeting, majority of delegates voted to support passage of this legislation.  Click below to view MCCF testimony delivered to House committee on 2/20/11 (same as Senate testimony, except for bill number and committee name).
MCCF TESTIMONY ON HB 518
■ Measure failed.

LORRAINE SHEEHAN COMMUNITY HEALTH AND SERVICES ACT

MCCF tracking HB121/SB168, Lorraine Sheehan Community Health and Services Act, which would increase the state tax rates for alcoholic beverages sold in Maryland from $1.50 to $10.03 per gallon for distilled spirits, from 40 cents to $2.96 per gallon for wine, and from 9 cents to $1.16 per gallon for beer.  The bills would raise about $200M per year and it would be dedicated to the Developmental Disability Administration. The tax was last raised in the 1950s.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
■ At 2/14/11 MCCF meeting, majority of delegates voted to support passage of this legislation but also to request an amendment to provide any revenue generated by this tax increase be applied to the General Fund.  Click below to view MCCF testimony delivered to House committee on 2/20/11 (same as Senate testimony, except for bill number and committee name).
MCCF TESTIMONY ON HB 121
■ 4/11/11 Amended measure approved by General Assembly.

MARYLAND OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY ACT

MCCF tracking HB1054, Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, which would require the PSC (Public Services Commission) to issue an order to the four investor-owned electric companies to enter into a long-term power purchase agreement with one or more qualifying offshore wind generators (i.e., companies).  The PSC would be required to approve all such contracts.  The PSC would issue a request for proposal (RFP) to identify one or more companies to provide the wind power.  The wind farms must be at least 10 miles off shore.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
■ At 2/14/11 MCCF meeting, majority of delegates voted to support passage of this legislation.
■ Measure failed to receive approval.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE

MCCF tracking SB339, Campaign finance - affiliated business entities - attribution of contributions.  [2011 Maryland State General Assembly session.]
VIEW CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM BILL
VIEW MCCF LETTER OF SUPPORT


Education Environment Legislation Parks Planning|Land Use Public Finance Public Safety Transportation Utilities