The Maryland General Assembly concluded its 2018 session passing several pieces of legislation considered to be top priorities of the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Included among the legislative requests signed into law by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was the passage of $50 million in bonding authority, giving a green light for the board to borrow money to finance the construction of various public facilities including a proposed new county administration building. Another bill granted the designation of the Calvert Marine Museum as a state paleontology collection and research center.
Ten pieces of legislation put forth by the board were signed into law. Other bills that passed included adjusting the salary and cost of living increases for the BOCC, the county sheriff and the Calvert County treasurer and improvements to the death benefits in the Length of Service Award Program for Calvert County fire, rescue and emergency medical services volunteers.
“Certainly some of the most important work that came out of the state legislature this year was the focus and funding that was given to the safety of our state’s schools,” said Board President Evan Slaughenhoupt Jr. “Adequate law enforcement coverage, structural safety requirements and additional mental health services are now requirements in Maryland, as they should be.”
The Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018 requires each local school system to appoint a mental health services coordinator to coordinate existing mental health services and procedures with the local school system. Approximately $41 million is in the state budget to make school safety improvements. This new law sets aside another $10 million annually in the future year to help pay for a more robust law enforcement presence in all schools. Last month, the BOCC allocated $2 million locally to the initiative, a move followed by the Calvert County Board of Education when it matched the board’s allocation from its reserves.
Other bills voted into law at the board’s request include:
- Allowing the county’s Fire and Rescue Association to appoint alternates
- Extending the sunset date for the Calvert County Youth Recreational Opportunities Fund
- Increasing the formal bidding requirement for county products and services from $15,000 to $30,000
- Allowing budget adjustments less than $100,000 to proceed without resolution
For a full review of Calvert County Government’s legislative requests and accompanying correspondence, visit on line at www.co.cal.md.us/2018LegislativePackage.