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Montgomery Council to Hold Public Hearing on Bill That Would Prohibit Use of Self-Service Machines to Purchase Items Hearing Is Scheduled for Tuesday, April 8, on Bill 18-14 That Would Limit Simple Resale of Items Like Cell Phones

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, on Expedited Bill 18-14 (Secondhand Personal Property—Automated Purchasing Machines) that would prohibit the use of machines in self-service kiosks that enable the simple sale of items such as previously owned cell phones.

The public hearing will be held in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building, which is located at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon) and can be viewed via streaming through the County web site at

Those interested in testifying at the public hearing can sign up by calling 240-777-7803 starting on Thursday, March 20. Call 240-777-7910 to obtain copies of the bill or for more information, go to

Council President Craig Rice is the chief sponsor of Bill 18-14. Councilmembers Cherri Branson, Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer are co-sponsors.

An automated purchasing machine (APM) is a self-service kiosk that dispenses payment, typically in cash, for cell phones or other electronic devices. Such transactions are currently covered under the County's Secondhand Personal Property law, but the existing law does not directly address the use of APMs. Legislation is currently pending before the Maryland General Assembly that would preempt and supersede local regulation of APMs, but would permit a county or municipality to prohibit the installation and operation of APMs.

Baltimore City and Baltimore County have recently enacted local laws prohibiting the use of APMs out of concern that APMs provide a convenient opportunity for cell phone thieves to convert stolen goods to cash without human interaction, thereby encouraging such thefts.

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Release ID: 14-081
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939, Delphine Harriston 240-777-7931