Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski has outlined the Baltimore County Legislative Priorities for the Maryland General Assembly for 2021.
Invest in our Educators and Students
Governor Hogan’s veto of The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation has delayed an opportunity for Maryland to implement bold and progressive policies to transform the state’s education system. Our kids can’t wait. Baltimore County supports the override of the Governor’s veto.
Invest in our Schools and Classrooms
Governor Hogan’s veto of The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future triggered a provision that blocked the implementation of the bipartisan supported Built to Learn Act. Baltimore County has forward- funded $242 million in shovel-ready school construction projects that cannot move forward without the state’s overdue investment. Baltimore County supports the override of the Governor’s Veto to help build modern schools and improve the lives of students.
Protect Those Who Serve Us
Current statutes offer insufficient protection for public safety personnel and work crews. More than 3,500 were injured, and 46 people were killed in work zone crashes across Maryland from 2014-2018. Baltimore County supports protecting those who serve us from dangerous drivers on our roadways.
Centralize and Prioritize Climate Change and Sustainability
While various Maryland agencies are tasked with duties related to climate change and sustainability, there is no state cabinet position or office tasked with coordinating statewide efforts to address climate change. Baltimore County supports creating a cabinet position or office to centralize climate change and sustainability efforts across state government.
Modernize Baltimore Area Waste Disposal
Numerous jurisdictions in the Baltimore Metropolitan region need modernized waste
disposal practices and facilities. Baltimore County supports legislation to require MDE to analyze and propose solutions regarding the creation of a regional waste disposal facility.
Eliminate Chemical Threats to Public Health
Glyphosate, the widely-used active ingredient in common pesticides, has consistently been linked to a variety of serious health concerns, including cancer, liver damage, and fertility and reproductive issues. Baltimore County supports legislation to ban glyphosates statewide.
Create Consistent Environmental Standards
State law currently requires LEED silver or equivalent standards for new buildings, but the standards do not apply to renovations, additions or other modifications. Baltimore County is supporting legislation requiring LEED certification in public school construction and renovation.
Address Fraud, Waste and Abuse
The Baltimore County Public School system does not currently have an adequate oversight mechanism to root out fraud, waste and abuse. Currently, the Baltimore County Office of the Inspector General’s oversight is limited to general government agencies and functions. Baltimore County supports legislation to expand the Baltimore County Office of the Inspector
General’s oversight authority within the school system.
Enact Police Reform
State and local jurisdictions nationwide are grappling with the police reform measures
needed to address inequitable policies which have allowed for the consistent mistreatment of communities of color. Earlier this year, Baltimore County took action, passing the SMART Policing Act. Baltimore County supports legislation consistent with the SMART Policing Act to ban chokeholds, expand whistleblower protections, as well as efforts to amend MPIA statutes to increase transparency and strengthen oversight.
For more information, contact:
CHUCK CONNER, Director of Government Affairs