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Press Releases - County Council

Council to review local order to move to Phase 2 reopening on June 19 and introduce police use of force policy at virtual meeting on June 16

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 15, 2020

Council also will vote on a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis,  hold public hearings and vote on special appropriations for Covid-19 emergency funding and early care and education and conduct Planning Board interviews

The Council will meet virtually on Tuesday, June 16 at 9:30 a.m. Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed here. The Council meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council agendas can be viewed here.

On the guidance of Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles, there is currently no public access to the Council Office Building. The virtual Council meeting will be streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on: Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056 and Fios 30.

Council Agenda Items:

Local Order on Phase 2 Recovery
Tomorrow the Council will act on Executive Order 082-20, COVID-19 Local Order – Phase 2 after holding a public hearing. If the Council approves the Executive Order, they will also approve it as a Board of Health Regulation. Executive Order 082-20 would lift the stay at home order and begin Phase 2 Recovery for Montgomery County at 5 p.m. on June 19. Phase 2 allows additional businesses and activities to start and/or increase modified operations under general operating guidelines for social distancing, careful cleaning, and the use of face coverings worn by employees and customers. You can read the local order here. You can view more details here or visit the County’s reopening page.

Expedited Bill 27-20, Police – Regulations – Use of Force Policy
On Tuesday, the Council will introduce Expedited Bill 27-20, Police – Regulations - Use of Force Policy, which would require the Montgomery County police chief to adopt a Use of Force Policy aimed at safeguarding all community members from excessive use of force by police. Councilmembers Will Jawando, Craig Rice, Nancy Navarro and Gabe Albornoz are the lead sponsors. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors. Expedited Bill 27-20 would establish a Use of Force Policy that at a minimum would prohibit a police officer from using deadly force, including neck restraints or carotid restraints, except when necessary to protect against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury after all reasonable alternatives have been exhausted. The policy also must prohibit a police officer from striking a restrained individual and requires police officers to stop or attempt to stop the use of excessive force by another police officer. Police officers who intervene to de-escalate the excessive use of force must not be retaliated against or disciplined for taking action. The Use of Force Policy would not be subject to collective bargaining. Similar laws and policies have also been enacted in California, Seattle and San Francisco. The Council staff report can be viewed here. You can view a statement from the lead sponsors here.

#UseOfForce and #PoliceReform are being used for this bill on social media.

Resolution to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis
The Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis. Research demonstrates that racism itself is a social determinant of health. Scientists see race as a social, cultural and/or political construct wherein de facto racial segregation and race-based discrimination have real consequences on health and health disparities. The full Council is sponsoring this resolution, which was spearheaded by Councilmember Will Jawando. Disparities in health outcomes have been amplified during the Covid-19 pandemic, as African Americans have the highest number of recorded cases and deaths.  This is true across the United States, in Maryland and in Montgomery County, where African Americans account for 25 percent of deaths, despite being 19 percent of the the County's population.

The Council is committed to promoting racial equity, social justice, and inclusions in all aspects of County government to narrow disparities in opportunities by race and ethnicity. This commitment is exemplified in the development and execution of the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act, the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice, the Law Enforcement Trust and Transparency (LETT) Act, Policing Advisory Commission, and the Community Policing Law and the Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission. These laws and initiatives identify racism as a root cause of disparities and inequities by race and ethnicity that cause poverty and diminished economic activity.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) and County Public Health Planning
At 11 a.m. the Council will sit as the Board of Health to receive an update on the County’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its recovery efforts. Those expected to attend the meeting include the following: Dr. Travis Gayles, county health officer and chief of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Public Health Services; Dr. Earl Stoddard, director, Office of Emergency management and Homeland Security; and Dr. Raymond Crowel, director, DHHS.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.
Special Appropriation to the County Government’s Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget, COVID-19 Human Services and Community Assistance Non-Departmental Account (NDA), Support for COVID-19 Response – Montgomery County Food Security Fund $10,500,000 and Amendment to Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget Resolution 19-128 Section G, FY20 Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Contract Award Status: Greater Washington Community Foundation
The Council will introduce a special appropriation of $10,500,000 to the Human Services And Community Assistance NDA. This appropriation would provide up to $500,000 to the Greater Washington Community Foundation to initiate and administer the Montgomery County Food Security Fund, which will accept private donations that will support implementation of the food security response strategy. This appropriation also provides $10 million to implement the strategy with the goal of raising $5,000,000 in private donations. This special appropriation is being introduced by the full Council and was spearheaded by Councilmember Will Jawando.


Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services, Positive Youth Development Program, $575,706, and Amendment to Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget Resolution 19-128 Section G, FY2020 Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Contract Award Status: Identity, Inc
The Council will introduce a special appropriation of $575,706 to the Department of Health and Human Services’ FY20 operating budget. This special appropriation is needed to provide support services for families in crisis to prevent jeopardizing the safety of vulnerable youth and avoid risky behaviors during these unstructured, tense times. The special appropriation includes $183,846 for Identity Inc. to provide culturally responsive and trauma-informed services that support at-risk children and their families, and $381,860 to support a family strengthening and intervention program in two targeted communities in the County. Councilmembers Albornoz and Navarro are the lead sponsors. Council President Katz, Council Vice President Hucker and Councilmembers Friedson, Rice and Jawando are cosponsors. 
The Council is scheduled to introduce the following additional bills:

Bill 24-20, Administration - Police - Assistant Chiefs of Police
The Council will introduce Bill 24-20, which would create a non-merit civilian assistant chief of police position and rename the existing non-merit assistant chief of police positions. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor, at the request of the County Executive. A public hearing on Bill 24-20 is scheduled for July 7 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#MoCoAsstPoliceChief is being used for this bill on social media.

Bill 25-20, Rental Assistance - Amendments
The Council will introduce Bill 25-20, which would do the following: change the age of eligibility for the County’s Rental Assistance Program (RAP); clarify the definition of a person with a documented disability; remove the prohibition of eligibility of County residents without immigration documentation; and provide that the benefit amount for RAP is established in regulations. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor, at the request of the County Executive. The goal of this legislation is to ensure that access to RAP benefits is not conditioned upon a resident’s immigration status. A public hearing on Bill 25-20 is scheduled for July 7 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#MoCo Rental Assistance is being used for this bill on social media.

Bill 26-20, Environmental Sustainability - Energy and Air Quality Advisory Committee - Amendments
The Council will introduce Bill 26-20, which would add advising on climate change issues to the duties and responsibilities of the Energy and Air Quality Advisory Committee and change the name to the Climate, Energy, and Air Quality Advisory Committee. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor, at the request of the County Executive. The goal of this legislation is to address the issue that currently none of the existing boards, committees or commissions within the Office of the County Executive directly advise on climate change issues. A public hearing on Bill 26-20 is scheduled for July 7 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#MoCoEnergyAndAirQuality is being used for this bill on social media.

The Council will hold the following public hearings at 1:30 p.m.:

Bill 14-20, Human Rights and Civil Liberties - Discriminatory Employment Practices - Workplace Harassment
The Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 14-20, which would define and prohibit certain discriminatory practices in the workplace. Councilmember Will Jawando is the lead sponsor. Councilmembers Nancy Navarro, Evan Glass, Hans Riemer, and Craig Rice and Council President Sidney Katz and Council Vice President Tom Hucker are cosponsors. Bill 14-20 would define and prohibit discriminatory harassment and sexual harassment by employers in the County. The bill would alter the level of harassing conduct that constitutes an employment discrimination claim under County law. Harassment would not need to raise to the level of being “severe or pervasive” to be actionable; the harassment would be actionable as long as it was “more than a petty slight, trivial inconvenience, or minor annoyance.” The goal of this legislation is to help ensure that employees do not face workplace harassment, including sexual harassment.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#StopSexualHarassment is being used for this bill on social media.

Bill 7-20, Interagency Commission on Homelessness - Membership and Duties
The Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 7-20, which would alter the membership and duties of the Interagency Commission on Homelessness. Councilmembers Evan Glass, Gabe Albornoz and Craig Rice are the lead sponsors. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors. The Interagency Commission on Homelessness (ICH) is a 25-member commission created by the Council in 2014 to coordinate public and private programs to reduce homelessness in the County. The ICH has requested that several modifications and updates be made to its membership and duties. The purpose of these amendments is to improve the governance and effectiveness of the ICH, as well as to clarify the mission of the ICH to “end and prevent” homelessness, as opposed to simply reducing homelessness. Under Bill 7-20, the ICH would remain a 25-member commission, but its composition would change. At the request of the ICH, certain ex officio slots would be replaced with more public representatives, including homeless service providers, healthcare providers, family services providers and affordable housing providers. A Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 25.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#MoCoCommissionOnHomelessness is being used for this bill on social media.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget - $80,000,000 for Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund Non-Departmental Account (NDA)
The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation of $80 million to the County government’s FY20 Operating Budget. The special appropriation will refund prior General Fund expenditures for Covid-19 related expenses that are eligible for the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) (approximately $49 million) and indicates the potential uses of the remaining $31 million that will be appropriated. The appropriation also requires reporting to the Council every two weeks on expenditures. Additional Council action will be required to appropriate the remaining $103 million.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget, Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation NDA, Support for COVID-19 Response - $500,000 for 3R Initiative
The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation of $500,000 to the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation’s FY20 Operating Budget for the 3R initiative. The special appropriation was introduced by the full Council and supports the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation’s (MCEDC) creation of the 3R Initiative (Reopen, Relaunch, Reimagine). This initiative will provide technical assistance from industry experts to County retail businesses and restaurants to aid reopening and recovery from closures due to the health crisis and provide small financial grants to those businesses for reopening expenses. MCEDC has secured $250,000 in private funding to support the program. Combined with this appropriation, the $750,000 will support the financial assistance portion of the initiative as direct grants to County retail businesses and restaurants.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget, Early Care and Education Non-Departmental Account (NDA), Covid-19 Early Care and Education Initiative (ECEI) Recovery Fund, $10,000,000
The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation of $10 million to provide reopening expenses for licensed childcare center programs, registered family childcare homes and letter of compliance programs. This funding includes eligibility for one month of expenses to support early care and education operations until tuition payments are collected as well as compensation for significant financial losses caused directly or indirectly by Covid-19 restrictions. Councilmembers Nancy Navarro, Andrew Friedson and Hans Riemer are the lead sponsors. Funding in the appropriation will allocate $6.5 million to support licensed childcare centers and letter of compliance programs and $3.5 million to support registered family childcare homes. The maximum grant amounts as amended by recommendations from the HHS and E&C Committee are as follows: $75,000 per childcare site for one site, $150,000 for two sites, $200,000 for three sites and $250,000 for four or more sites. The childcare sites that are to be supported by the grant must be located in the County, and 60 percent of the children served at each site must be Montgomery County residents.

The Council staff report will be available here.

Montgomery County Planning Board Interviews
At 1:45 p.m. the Council is scheduled to conduct remote interviews to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Montgomery County Planning Board. The following individuals are scheduled for interviews: Gerald Cichy, Anthony Falcone, Justin Malcom, and Roberto Pinero. Planning Board members serve four-year terms and are limited to two full terms.  No more than three members can be from the same political party, and each member must be a resident and registered voter of Montgomery County when appointed.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-259
Media Contact: Nicholas Triolo 240-777-7932