Local lawmakers discuss Maryland’s upcoming legislative session

Maryland

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — With Maryland’s 2021 Legislative Session approaching, the pandemic mounting and the needs of residents changing day by day, local and state lawmakers from Montgomery County have their work cut out for them heading into the session.

The preparation and planning comes at a time when money matters more than ever, with significant financial shortfalls projected for the upcoming year.

County-level lawmakers say the financial situation could impact what they will support and what they oppose.

“There is a concern about unfunded mandates, that is because of the financial difficulties,” said councilmember Nancy Navarro of passing new laws and adding new positions during the council’s Monday session.

When discussing a bill to establish public campaign financing for more offices in the county, like that of the Sheriff and the State’s Attorney, the council said funds from the state would make a big difference in making that happen.

“You’re already challenged with being able to fund the positions that you have, adding additional positions on without additional resources is problematic,” said councilmember Craig Rice.

County lawmakers can make suggestions and offer support or opposition for state bills, but ultimately the bills lie in the hands of state-level lawmakers.

The session is set to start on January 13.

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