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Press Releases - County Council

Council to introduce legislation on criminal record screening standards and vote on Expedited Bill 27-20 that requires the Montgomery County Police Department to adopt a use of force policy, on July 29 at 1:30 p.m.

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Council also will receive an update on the County’s public health data and planning, introduce bills requested by the Planning Board on the Subdivision Staging Policy and vote on three proposals to amend Section 305 of the County Charter

The Council will meet virtually on Wednesday, July 29 at 1:30 p.m. Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council and Committee review can be viewed here. The Council meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council and Committee 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 and all Committee meetings 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.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and County Public Health Planning

On July 29 at 1:30 p.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, are among those expected to attend. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Bill 35-20, Human Rights and Civil Liberties - Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards - Amendments

The Council will introduce Bill 35-20, which would do the following: alter definitions regarding fair criminal record screening standards; prohibit certain inquiries regarding criminal records; prohibit consideration of certain arrests and convictions in employment decisions; and generally amend the law regarding criminal record screenings. Councilmember Will Jawando is the lead sponsor. The goal of this legislation is to help prevent workplace discrimination by preventing background checks prior to the extension of a conditional offer of employment and preventing inquiries into certain types of arrests and convictions. A Council public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 15 at 1:30 p.m. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Expedited Bill 36-20, Forest Conservation - Amendments

The Council will introduce Bill 36-20, which makes numerous changes to the County’s forest conservation law.  Some of the changes include the following: apply the forest conservation law to two or more platted contiguous lots that collectively total at least 40,000 square feet under certain circumstances; modify provisions related to the preferred sequence for afforestation and reforestation, forest mitigation banks, and in lieu fees to conform with state law; and exempt agricultural activities from the forest stand delineation and forest conservation requirements only if the property remains as an agricultural use. Council President Sidney Katz  is the lead sponsor, at the request of the Planning Board. A Council public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 22 at 1:30 pm. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Bill 37-20, Subdivision – Preliminary Plan - Adequate Public Facilities – Amendments

The Council will introduce Bill 37-20, which would require an applicant requesting an extension of an adequate public facilities determination to provide a new determination of school adequacy for the remaining unbuilt units under the school test in effect at the time of Planning Board review. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor, at the request of the Planning Board. The goal of this legislation is to improve the development review process. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Bill 38-20, Taxation - Development Impact Taxes for Transportation and Public School Improvements – Amendments

The Council will introduce Bill 38-20, which would amend transportation and school impact tax district designations and the impact tax rates that apply in these districts. Bill 38-20 also would modify the applicability of development impact tax exemptions for certain uses and in certain locations, and generally amend the law governing transportation and school development impact taxes. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor, at the request of the Planning Board. The goal of this legislation is to improve the development review process. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Expedited Bill 39-20, Taxation - Recordation Tax – Amendments

The Council will introduce Expedited Bill 39-20, which would increase the rate of the recordation tax levied under state law for certain transactions involving the transfer of property and would establish a partial exemption from the recordation tax for a first-time home buyer. Bill 39-20 also would amend the allocation of revenue received from the recordation tax to capital improvements for schools and to the Montgomery Housing Initiative Fund. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor, at the request of the Planning Board. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Bill 24-20, Administration - Police - Assistant Chiefs of Police

The Council is scheduled to vote on 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. The Public Safety (PS) Committee recommends enactment with an amendment to make the bill expedited. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Expedited Bill 30-20, Administration - Executive Branch - Chief Digital Officer

The Council is scheduled to vote 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 Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee recommends enactment with minor technical amendments. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Bill 25-20, Rental Assistance - Amendments

The Council is scheduled to vote on 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. The Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee recommends enactment with an amendment to clarify that the policy parameters of the Rental Assistance Program, including program eligibility, would be set by Method 2 Regulation, while the specific benefit amount would be determined by Method 3 Regulation. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

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 to protect the public. The minimum standards would, among other things, include: prohibiting a member of the police force from using deadly force, including a neck restraint or carotid restraint unless it’s a last resort to prevent serious bodily injury or death of an officer or another person; the use of such force creates no substantial risk or injury to a third person; and reasonable alternatives to the use of such force has been exhausted. The bill also requires officers to intervene, if they witness the excessive use of force by another officer. 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 Public Safety (PS) Committee recommends enactment with amendments. The recommended amendments can be found on page one of the Council staff report, which can be viewed here.

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

Resolution, Qualification of Charter Amendment by Petition, Property Tax Limit - Prohibit Override 

The Council will introduce and is scheduled to vote on Resolution, Qualification of Charter Amendment by Petition, Property Tax Limit – Prohibit Override. The local board of elections has determined that a petitioned ballot question qualifies to appear on the 2020 General Election ballot. The resolution before the Council is required under Maryland Election Law. It would amend Section 305 of the Charter to prohibit the Council from levying an ad valorem 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. Section 305 currently permits the Council to exceed the limit on real property tax revenue only upon the affirmative vote of all current Councilmembers. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution, Proposed Charter Amendment - Property Tax Limit - Limit Tax Rate Increases

The Council is scheduled to vote on Resolution, Proposed Charter Amendment – Property Tax Limit – Limit Tax Rate Increases. This resolution would place a question on the 2020 general election ballot to amend County Charter Section 305. This resolution would prohibit the County Council from adopting a tax rate on real property that exceeds the tax rate on real property approved for the previous year, unless all current Councilmembers vote affirmatively for the increase. The lead sponsors of the measure are Councilmembers Andrew Friedson, Council President Sidney Katz and Councilmember Nancy Navarro. Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz, Craig Rice and Hans Riemer are cosponsors. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to Adopt a Proposed Amendment to County Charter - Property Tax Limit – Limit on Taxable Value of Owner-Occupied Residential Property; Limit on Tax Rate Increases

The Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to adopt a proposed amendment to the County Charter concerning property taxes. This resolution would place the following ballot question on the 2020 ballot: 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 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 can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-338
Media Contact: Nicholas Triolo 240-777-7832