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Press Releases - County Council

Council to vote on Use of Force Policy bill and Board of Health regulation to require free, Countywide COVID-19 testing and introduce special appropriation to create new public health model in areas hardest hit by virus, at virtual meeting on July 21

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 20, 2020

Council also will introduce resolutions calling for Md. general election to be held primarily by mail and to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day and conduct nine public hearings, including two on proposed Charter amendments

The Council will meet virtually on Tuesday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m. Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

The Council meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council agendas can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

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

Expedited Bill 27-20, Police - Regulations - Use of Force Policy
The Council is scheduled to vote on Expedited Bill 27-20, which would require the police chief to adopt a use of force policy directive and require the use of force policy to include certain minimum standards, including standards regarding the use of deadly force, the use of carotid and neck restraints, and required intervention by officers when another officer is violating law or policy. Councilmembers Will Jawando, Craig Rice, Nancy Navarro and Gabe Albornoz are the lead sponsors. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors. This legislation is necessary to help to prevent the unnecessary use of force in police enforcement actions and ban certain practices that can contribute towards unnecessary deaths and serious bodily injury. The PS Committee recommends approval with amendments.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Special Appropriation to the Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget Montgomery County Government COVID-19 Human Services and Community Assistance NDA $6,593,042 (Source of Funds: Federal Grant) $952,548 (Source of Funds: General Fund Reserves) Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar (For Our Health and Wellbeing)
Councilmember Gabe Albornoz and Councilmember Nancy Navarro will introduce a $7.545 million special appropriation to provide a strategic, culturally competent and community-focused approach to public health to help contain the spread of Covid-19 in the areas of the County hardest hit by the virus. The funding will be used to establish Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar (For Our Health and Wellbeing), which will provide wrap-around services including Covid-19 testing, health resources and public education targeted to Latino residents in the County. Data provided by Montgomery County's Department of Health and Human Services shows the disproportionately large impact that Covid-19 is having in the Latino community. The full Council is committed to providing culturally competent and community-focused health care for underserved communities across Montgomery County.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to Approve Board of Health Regulation Requiring Enhanced Testing Strategy
After a 1:30 p.m. public hearing, the Council will vote on a resolution to approve a Board of Health Regulation requiring an enhanced Covid-19 testing strategy. The full Council is sponsoring this regulation, which has the goal of helping stop the spread of Covid-19 though testing and aggressive contact tracing. Among other provisions, the regulation requires the County Executive to first implement enhanced testing at locations within walking distance of targeted communities experiencing higher transmission or at risk of higher transmission. Montgomery County is working to continue to increase testing levels, ramp up contact tracing efforts and expand the availability of tests to residents. This regulation also represents part of the County’s long-term effort to be responsive to residents’ questions about testing and provide up-to-date information on testing sites and how to get tested through as many channels as possible.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution in Support of Mailing Ballots to Voters for the 2020 General Election
The Council will introduce a resolution calling on Governor Hogan to require that ballots be mailed to each registered voter in Maryland along with a postage prepaid envelope. The Council also is requesting that touch-free drop boxes be available for voters to submit their completed ballots. Moreover, the Council calls on Governor Hogan to empower each local Board of Elections to recommend, in consultation with their County health officer, an appropriate number of early voting sites and polling places for the 2020 General Election. The full Council is sponsoring this resolution, which was initiated by Council Vice President Tom Hucker and Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Gabe Albornoz.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution in Support of Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Councilmember Nancy Navarro will introduce a resolution in support of Indigenous Peoples’ Day to celebrate and honor Native American peoples and commemorate their histories and cultures. This holiday is celebrated across the U.S. on the second Monday in October and is an official city and state holiday in various jurisdictions. The resolution calls for the Council and County government to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, starting on Oct. 12, 2020, and directs that all official calendars be updated. Moreover, it calls on the Maryland General Assembly to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an official state holiday. In addition, the resolution urges Montgomery County Public Schools to undergo a review of its curriculum to better incorporate the histories, narratives and cultures of the Country’s Native peoples.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to Support the Renaming of the Washington Football Team
The Council will vote on a resolution to support the renaming of the Washington football team, so it reflects and respects everyone. The team’s current name is a dictionary-defined racial slur, and the team is currently in the process of choosing a new name. This resolution, which was initiated by Council President Sidney Katz, is sponsored by the full Council.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Executive Regulation 9-20T, Public Health Emergency Business Assistance Program
The Council is scheduled to introduce and vote on Executive Regulation 9-20T. The County Executive submitted temporary regulations to implement the Public Health Emergency Grant Program on April 15. The regulation expired on July 15, and the County Executive has requested a one-time extension to the temporary regulation on July 14. The Council must approve the extension for the temporary regulation to remain effective.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) Report 2020-9, Local Policing Data and Best Practices
The Council will receive OLO Report 2020-9, Local Policing Data and Best Practices. The Council asked OLO to describe Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) datasets. The report describes MCPD datasets concerning their interactions with the public (policing data), their alignment to best practices and disparities by race and ethnicity on select measures. The report also offers recommendations for Council and MCPD action.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

OLO Covid-19 Recovery Outlook papers: Retail Sector, Disparities in Telework by Race and Ethnicity, Child Care
The Council will receive and release three OLO papers about the County’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, which focus on the retail sector, disparities in telework by race and ethnicity and childcare. During the past week, Councilmembers received the seventh, eighth and ninth papers in OLO’s Covid-19 Recovery series. This series aims to analyze the County’s Covid-19 recovery efforts in alignment with the County’s Economic Development Platform. The purpose of this agenda item is for the Council to approve release of these papers to the public.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to Approve the FY21 Schedule of Revenue Estimates and Appropriations
The Council will introduce a resolution to approve the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) schedule of revenue estimates and appropriations. On May 19, the Council appropriated funds for the FY21 Operating and Capital Budgets for the County Government, the Montgomery County Public School system, Montgomery College, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. As required by County and state law, the Council must fund these appropriations. On May 19, the Council set the property tax rates for FY21. The Council has examined all sources of revenue, including local taxes, to identify those sources from which receipts are restricted as to use so that the Council may allocate those revenues that are not restricted to respond best to the needs of County residents.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services - $592,202 for Mobile Crisis Response
The Council is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation of $592,202 to the FY21 operating budget of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to expand mobile crisis response services. DHHS operates the Crisis Center and staffs one Mobile Crisis Team, which is based in Rockville. The Mobile Crisis Team is a two-person team that responds to calls made directly to the Crisis Center and when the police request their assistance as a part of a police response. Currently, the Mobile Crisis Team can only respond to one call at any time. While work on scaling up this response model is underway, the need has been identified for additional licensed social workers in DHHS to lead additional Mobile Crisis Teams. This special appropriation would fund six social worker positions, so that the hiring process may begin to expand these response teams. The funding includes bilingual pay and it is critical that these positions include those who can serve residents for whom English is not their primary language. The full Council is sponsoring this appropriation. The Public Safety and Health and Human Services Committees recommend approval with amendments.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY 21 Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services - $371,761 for Support Payment to Organizations Directly Serving Developmentally Disabled Persons
The Council is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation of $371,761 to the County’s Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) FY21 operating budget for support payments to organizations serving developmentally disabled persons. As a part of its approval of the FY21 operating budget for the Montgomery County government, the Council appropriated $17.6 million to provide support payments to eligible organizations that provide direct services to people with developmental disabilities, including residential, community supported living arrangements, day habilitation or supportive employment. This amount was not adjusted for six new eligible organizations. The estimate for a continuity of services budget that accounts for these new organizations requires $371,761 in additional funding. Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz, Evan Glass and Craig Rice are the lead sponsors.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget Montgomery County Government COVID-19 Human Services and Community Assistance NDA Assistance to Community Clinics, Medical and Dental Practices $3,000,000
The Council is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation to the Human Services and Community Assistance NDA’s FY21 operating budget of $3 million for assistance to community clinics and primary care medical and dental practices that serve County residents. The Covid-19 health emergency required medical and dental practices, including community clinics, to stop non-emergency, in-person visits which has put a financial strain on many providers. In addition, many providers have incurred additional expenses associated with transitioning to telemedicine and to acquire personal protective equipment. The full Council is the sponsoring this appropriation.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to Amend Resolution 19-472, Section G, FY21 Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Award Status: Maryland Technology Council $250,000
The Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to amend Resolution 19-472, which provides $250,000 in funding to support the Maryland Technology Council’s (MTC) creation of a Business Continuity Task Force. This funding supports staff salary, outreach and administrative costs for the program in the County.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Conference and Visitors Bureau Non-Departmental Account, Support for Covid-19 Response—Hospitality and Tourism Support, $200,000
The Council will introduce a special appropriation of $200,000 to the FY21 operating budget for the Conference and Visitors Bureau Non-Departmental Account (NDA). This funding will allow Visit Montgomery to market the County to encourage local spending by residents in businesses throughout the County and attract regional and leisure travelers within three driving hours during October to December 2020. A public hearing and vote is scheduled for July 28 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation for the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Community Engagement Cluster, Office of Community Partnerships (OCP), $296,436 for 2020 Census Grant
The Council will introduce a special appropriation of $296,436 to the FY21 operating budget of the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) – Community Engagement Cluster. OCP was awarded funds through the Maryland State 2020 Census Grant Program to implement 2020 Census activities through June 30, 2020 to create a Census Grant Program housed under the care of the Montgomery County affiliate of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. The Census Grant Program will be utilized to continue implementing “Everyone Counts in Montgomery County,” a countywide education and outreach strategy in partnership with nonprofit organizations and stakeholders to ensure that everyone is counted, with a special focus on “hard-to-count communities.” A public hearing and Council vote is scheduled for July 28 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the FY21 Operating Budget Montgomery County Government Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Health and Crisis Prevention Crisis Prevention & Intervention Services-Montgomery County Hotline $395,000 (Source of Funds: Federal Grant and General Fund Reserves) and Amendment to Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget Resolution 19-472 Section G, FY21 Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Contract Award Status: EveryMind
The Council will introduce a special appropriation of $395,000 to DHHS’ Behavioral Health and Crisis Prevention and Intervention Services: Montgomery County Hotline. Councilmembers Andrew Friedson, Will Jawando and Gabe Albornoz are the lead sponsors. Council President Sidney Katz, Councilmember Hans Riemer and Council Vice President Tom Hucker are cosponsors. This special appropriation would support a higher level of service for residents from EveryMind’s Montgomery County Hotline which serves community members in crisis. This special appropriation will support the addition of eight full-time specialists to staff the hotline, along with supervisory, managerial and administrative support for these positions through December 2020. The additional positions are needed to address the increased calls due to the Covid-19 emergency and maintain the number of hotline shifts per week and double staffing coverage provided in FY20 because of the public health crisis. In addition, the funding will support the expansion of text services from 8 a.m. to noon through FY21. A public hearing and vote on this appropriation is scheduled for July 28.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government's FY21 Operating Budget, Covid-19 Human Services and Community Assistance Non-Departmental Account (NDA), $20 million for Covid-19 Response: Rental Assistance and Eviction and Homelessness Prevention (Source of Funds: Federal Grant)
The Council will introduce a $20 million special appropriation to provide rental assistance and funding to avoid eviction and homelessness for residents in the County. This appropriation will be funded by the Coronavirus Relief Fund provided to the County through the CARES Act. Council President Sidney Katz is sponsoring this appropriation at the request of the County Executive. This appropriation will support Montgomery County renters up to 60 percent of area median income who have been negatively impacted by Covid-19 and are at risk of eviction and homelessness. A public hearing is scheduled for July 28 at 1:30 p.m. followed by a Council vote.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Extension of Time for Council Action on the Germantown Plan for the Town Sector Zone & Vote on the Plan
The Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to extend the period of time for Council action on the Germantown Plan for the Town Sector Zone.The purpose of this master plan is to replace the existing Town Sector zoning with current zoning classifications for the Churchill Village community in Germantown. The master plan recommends appropriate zoning and ways of protecting the community’s open space and recreation areas, while maintaining the predominantly residential character of Churchill Village. The plan recommends new zones related to three goals developed during the community process: maintain the residential core, protect open space and recreation areas and support neighborhood-serving commercial uses.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-08 Bicycle Parking - Requirements and Design Standards
The Council is scheduled to vote on ZTA 19-08, which will amend bicycle parking requirements and bicycle parking design standards. It would expand the universe of development required to provide bicycle parking facilities by requiring that more developments provide parking facilities. It would add defined terms and provisions concerning location and security requirements for repair stations and electric bicycles. In Nov. 2018, the Council approved the Bicycle Master Plan, which envisions that Montgomery County will be a world-class bicycling community. Under the plan, all areas of the County will have access to a comfortable, safe and connected bicycle network. This ZTA will implement one aspect of the 2018 Bicycle Master Plan by augmenting the bicycle parking requirement in the Zoning Ordinance. The Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee recommends approval with amendments.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) and County Public Health Planning
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, are among those expected to attend.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to Approve Board of Health Regulation Requiring Enhanced Testing Strategy
The Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to approve a Board of Health Regulation, sponsored by the full Council, requiring an enhanced Covid-19 testing strategy, following a public hearing on the proposed regulation at 1:30 p.m. See page seven of this document for more information.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

The Council is scheduled to introduce the following bills:

Bill 31-20, Public Campaign Financing - Amendments
The Council will introduce Bill 31-20, which would do the following: amend the County public campaign financing system; alter the maximum contribution limits; allow participating candidates to carryover certain funds under certain circumstances; require an audit of the public campaign financing system after the general election in an election cycle; and alter the penalties for willful violations of the public campaign financing system. The goal of this legislation is to improve the County’s public campaign financing system. Councilmember Nancy Navarro, Council President Sidney Katz and Councilmember Andrew Friedson are the lead sponsors. A public hearing is scheduled for September 15 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Bill 32-20, Solid Waste (Trash) - Waste Reduction/Source Reduction and Single-Use Straws – Requirements
The Council will introduce Bill 32-20, which would do the following: establish a program for waste reduction/source reduction in Montgomery County; provide criteria for waste reduction initiatives and programs; set forth the method by which the program is established; prohibit the distribution of single-use straws except in certain circumstances; and provide for education relating to straws. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor, at the request of the County Executive. A public hearing is scheduled for September 15 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Bill 33-20 - Solid Waste (Trash) - Food Service Products Packaging Materials - Requirements
The Council will introduce Bill 33-20, which would prohibit the use of expanded polystyrene food service products by food services businesses; require the use of compostable or recyclable food service ware by the County, County contractors or lessees, and food service businesses; and prohibit the sale of expanded polystyrene food service products and polystyrene loose fill packaging, among other things. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor, at the request of the County Executive. A public hearing is scheduled for September 15 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Bill 34-20, Police – Disciplinary Procedures – Police Labor Relations – Duty to Bargain – Amendments
The Council will introduce Bill 34-20, which would amend the disciplinary procedures for County police officers by requiring the use of a traditional hearing board under the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR). The bill also would require two additional voting public members on a hearing board in a case originating from a complaint by a resident alleging an excessive use of force and authorize the Chief of Police to issue a final order on employee discipline based on the recommendations of a hearing board. Finally, Bill 34-20 would exclude collective bargaining over the composition of a police hearing board, the right of the chief to make a final decision on discipline and the right of the chief to issue a directive or administrative order implementing an employer right. The goal of this legislation is to increase police officer accountability. Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Craig Rice are the lead sponsors. A public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 15 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

The Council is scheduled to vote on the following bills:

Bill 7-20, Interagency Commission on Homelessness - Membership and Duties
The Council is scheduled to vote 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. The HHS Committee recommends approval with amendments.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Bill 26-20, Environmental Sustainability - Energy and Air Quality Advisory Committee - Amendments
The Council is scheduled to vote on 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. The Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee recommends enactment as introduced.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

OLO Report 2020-4: Youth Sports in Montgomery County
The Council will receive a briefing on and discuss OLO Report 2020-4, which reviews national research on youth sports and examines the youth sports landscape in Montgomery County. The report offers three recommended discussion issues for the Council to raise with agency representatives, which include: access to public athletic facilities, addressing silos in youth sports, and promoting and expanding affordable and recreational youth sports programs.

The OLO report can be viewed here.

FY21 Budget Savings Plan
The Council is scheduled to receive an update on the County’s FY21 budget savings plan. On July 6, the County Executive transmitted a revised spending plan for fiscal year 2020 which includes changes to the FY21 Operating Budget as well as amendments to the County Government projects in the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program. The recommended savings plan is expected to save approximately $33.5 million from the operating budget of County government. In addition, $27.7 million in savings is expected from cuts to the capital budget. The Council introduced the saving plan on July 7. A public hearing and Council vote is scheduled for July 28.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Public hearings

All Council public hearings will be held virtually on Tuesday, July 21 at 1:30 p.m. unless otherwise stated:

Special Appropriation - $1,500,000 for Conference Center Non-Departmental Account (NDA)
The Council will hold a public hearing on a $1.5 million special appropriation for the Conference Center’s NDA for the FY21 operating budget. The Executive requested this funding to support the operating expenses for the Montgomery County Conference Center in the event that its revenues are insufficient to cover operating expenses in 2020. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor, at the request of the County Executive. The Council staff report can be found here.

Supplemental Appropriation - MCPS - $250,000 for Mental Health Program to Support Schools
The Council will conduct a public hearing on a $250,000 special appropriation to fund mental health supports in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). On June 18, Councilmembers Craig Rice and Gabe Albornoz sent a letter to Superintendent Jack Smith requesting that MCPS examine funding and programmatic options to increase mental health services to students as it works on the 2020 school year recovery plan. The Board of Education requested this appropriation on June 29. As part of its approved fiscal year 2021 budget, MCPS plans to implement a pilot program to provide mental health services to identified students. MCPS is planning a service model in which school-based staff members, including school counselors and psychologists, may refer students who require additional mental health services to a community agency with which MCPS has an established partnership. MCPS anticipates providing these services at no cost to students. The funding from the special appropriation will be used to expand the planned pilot program and double the number of estimated students who will receive services from 270 to 540. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Expedited Bill 30-20, Administration - Executive Branch - Chief Digital Officer
The Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 30-20, which would transfer the chief digital officer from the Office of the County Executive to the Department of Technology Services. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor, at the request of the County Executive. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Supplemental Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Office of the County Executive - $550,000 to support a Police audit, Fire and Rescue Service audit, and consulting funds for community engagement support
The Council will hold a public hearing on a special appropriation of $550,000 to the Office of the County Executive’s FY21 operating budget to support audits of the Montgomery County Police Department and the Fire and Rescue Service, as well as funds for community engagement support. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to Approve Board of Health Regulation Requiring Enhanced Testing Strategy
See the information on this item above. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, COVID-19 Human Services and Community Assistance NDA - $2,025,000 for Short-Term Assistance to Distressed, Affordable Common Ownership Communities
The Council will hold a public hearing on a special appropriation of $2,025,000 to provide short-term assistance for financially distressed, affordable common ownership communities. These funds would be used by the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) to provide assistance to affordable common ownership communities in financial distress because of revenue lost since the start of the public health emergency declaration for Covid-19. The appropriation, which was spearheaded by Council President Sidney Katz, is sponsored by the full Council. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to Urge the Maryland state lawmakers to change “Maryland, My Maryland” as the state song and urge against the song from being played at official Montgomery County events
The Council will hold a public hearing on a resolution to urge the State of Maryland to repeal and replace the state song “Maryland, My Maryland” and prohibit the song from being played at public events in Montgomery County. The full Council is sponsoring the resolution. “Maryland, My Maryland” includes lyrics that refer to President Abraham Lincoln as “the tyrant”, “the despot”, and “the Vandal”, and to the Union as “Northern scum”, as well as referring to the phrase “Sic semper tyrannis”, which was the slogan later shouted by Marylander John Wilkes Booth when he assassinated Lincoln. According to Randall, the poem was a plea to his home state of Maryland to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to place an amendment to Section 305 of the County Charter on the 2020 general election ballot
On July 21 at 7:30 p.m. the Council will hold a public hearing on a resolution to place a question on the 2020 general election ballot to amend County Charter Section 305. The resolution is tentatively scheduled for a final Council vote on July 28. The Charter amendment proposed under the resolution would prevent the Council from setting an average weighted property tax rate on real property that exceeds the rate of the prior year, unless all current Councilmembers affirmatively vote for the increase. The lead sponsors of the measure are Councilmembers Andrew Friedson, Council President Sidney Katz and Councilmember Nancy Navarro. The cosponsors include Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz, Craig Rice and Hans Riemer. The Council staff report and resolution can be viewed here.

#PropertyTaxLimit is being used on social media.

Resolution from the County Executive to place an amendment to Section 305 of the County Charter on the 2020 general election ballot
On July 21 at 7:30 p.m. the Council will hold a public hearing on a resolution to place an amendment to Section 305 of the County Charter on the 2020 general election ballot. At the request of the County Executive, Council President Sidney Katz introduced a resolution from the County Executive to amend Section 305 of the County Charter to:

  1. limit the annual increase in the taxable value of owner-occupied residential property to not more than three percent, even though current law permits an increase of up to ten percent; and
  2. prohibit the County Council from levying a tax rate on real property greater than the tax rate on real property in the prior fiscal year unless at least two-thirds (6) of the Councilmembers vote affirmatively for the increase.

This amendment would replace the current property tax limit, which requires an affirmative vote of all current Councilmembers to levy a tax on real property that would produce total revenue (not including property tax revenue from certain enumerated sources) that exceeds the total revenue produced by the tax on real property in the preceding fiscal year plus a percentage of the previous year’s real property tax revenues that equals any increase in the Consumer Price Index. The Council staff report and resolution can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-313
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931