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County Executive Leopold Releases State Legislative Agenda that Focuses on Budget Priorities
Legislation aims at gangs, environment and charter schools

Annapolis (January 21, 2010) - County Executive John R. Leopold today released his legislative agenda for the Maryland General Assembly session, with protecting State aid to the County as his top priority.

"By working collaboratively with our delegation, our most important goal will be to protect the funding that is vital to education, transportation and public safety during this difficult economy," County Executive Leopold said. "Overall non-education related State funding to local governments is currently at 1984 levels. At this rate, we will face challenges in providing our citizens with the level of services they expect."

Since Fiscal Year 2007, this State aid to local governments has declined by more than 60 percent. The funding is crucial for improving public safety and transportation, preserving open space and providing direct grants.

The Administration has also requested that the County delegation support legislation t

• Increase arrest information provided by law enforcement to schools to combat gangs and youth violence

• Mandate automatic Circuit Court jurisdiction over gang-related crimes by juveniles over 16 years of age

• Create a revolving loan fund to leverage federal stimulus grants for charter schools

• Increase bonding and public hearing requirements for mining operations or landfills that use coal combustion byproducts for reclamation

• Ensure that County’s are notified of plans to build detention facilities and require that such facilities conform with local zoning laws

• Remove time restrictions on the County’s use of Reforestation Fund payments


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