Public Information and Ethics – Conduit Street

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of ​​public information and ethics during the 2022 General Assembly.

County governments collect and maintain public information as part of their various functions. Compliance with Maryland’s Public Information Act and maintaining a high standard of ethics in all government practices are priorities across all administrative agencies and legislative bodies of Maryland county governments. Through its advocacy and professional training in the areas of public information and ethics, MACo urges a balance between public safety, government effectiveness and public information demands and works with the Attorney General’s Office and the State Ethics Commission on behalf of the counties.

This year, the Maryland General Assembly held a legislative session like no other due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The unique circumstances surrounding the 443rd legislative session, including necessary health and safety measures, posed a challenge for lawmakers and advocates. Despite the unusual circumstances, MACo’s advocacy still led to more positive results for its members.

Follow these links for more coverage on our Conduit Street blog and legislative database.


Lobbyists

MACo opposed legislation that would eliminate the current flexibility governing local ethics laws and require local governments to mirror state law and require certain entities to register as lobbyists. HB 59 Ethics – Local Governments – Registration of Lobbyists lack at the General Assembly.

Invoice information I MACo coverage


Laws on public information and public meetings

The MACo backed the legislation, a MACo initiative from previous years, to establish guidelines for the dissemination of body camera footage, balancing the interests of police accountability, privacy and security of victims and government resources. CS 31 Public Information Act – Inspection of Records of Body-Worn Digital Recording Devices lack at the General Assembly.

Invoice information I MACo coverage

MACo backed the legislation with amendments to require certain government agencies, including counties, to provide electronic copies of court records, provided a copy is not available online, within two business days of a request. As later amended, and consistent with MACo’s proposed amending language, the legislation would not require the publication of minutes until they were approved. HB 246 Open Meetings Act – Notices, Closed Meetings and Minutes – Retention Periods, Online Posting and Public Inspection past at the General Assembly.

Invoice information I MACo coverage

MACo has taken no position as amended on the legislation that would establish the task force to consider public information law requests to law enforcement. Before it was amended, the MACo had opposed the legislation because it would have prohibited counties from charging fees for researching and preparing the first 500 pages of certain records relating to administrative or criminal investigations into the misconduct of a police officer. SB 777 Task Force to Review Public Information Act Requests to Law Enforcement – Establishment past the General Assembly and awaits the signature of the Governor.

Invoice information I MACo coverage


More information on public information and ethics legislation followed by MACo during the 2022 legislative session.

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