Agenda Item 8
October 6, 2015
Public Hearing
MEMORANDUM
October 2, 2015
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
County Council
Amanda Mihill, Legislative AttorneY:ci\f(qJu1i
Public Hearing:
Bi1l37-15, Boards, Committees, and Commissions - Advocacy
Bill 37-15, Boards, Committees, and Commissions - Advocacy, sponsored by Lead Sponsors
Council President Leventhal and Council members Berliner and Rice, was introduced on
September 15, 2015. A Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee worksession is
tentatively scheduled for November 5,2015 at 9:30 a.m.
Bill 37-15 would allow certain boards, committees, or commissions
(B/C/Cs)
to advocate at the
State and federal levels if the advocacy is approved by the Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
County law is not consistent and provides for varying levels of advocacy authority for
B/C/Cs,
ranging from very broad authority to no authority. Some B/C/Cs, including the Commission on
People with Disabilities, have indicated a desire to advocate at the State and federal levels, but
current law prevents them from doing so. Bill 37-15 specifically provides this authority for the
following
B/C/Cs:
i
• Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board
• Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council
• Cable and Communications Advisory Committee
• Commission on Child Care
• Commission on Children and Youth Generally
• Commission on Health
• Commission on Human Rights
• Commission on People with Disabilities
• Committee for Ethnic Affairs
• Committee on HateNiolence
• Energy and Air Quality Advisory Committee
• Fire and Emergency Services Commission
• Mental Health Advisory Committee
• Noise Control Advisory Board
• Rustic Roads Advisory Committee
• Solid Waste Advisory Committee
• Victim Services Advisory Board
• Water Quality Advisory Group
list is not exhaustive ofall the
B/C/Cs
that will ultimately have this authority - many
B/C/Cs
have this authority
under current law (some have even broader authority) and are therefore not included
in
this list.
1
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This topic was the focus of a July 2 Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee as it related to
B/C/Cs within the HHS Committee's jurisdiction. A copy of the staff memorandum from Senior
Legislative Analyst Linda McMillan, without attachments, is on ©9-13. A copy of the entire
packet, including attachments is available from Council staff or online at:
http://W\\.'W.montgomerycountymd.Q:ov/counciIlResources/Files/agendalcm/20l5/l50702/201507
02 HHSI.pdf
This packet contains:
Bi1l37-15
Legislative Request Report
McMillan memorandum
Circle #
1
8
9
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Bill No.
37-15
Concerning: Boards, Committees, and
Commissions - Advocacy
Draft No. _2_
Revised: 812512015
Introduced:
September 15, 2015
Expires:
March 15, 2017
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date: -!...!CNo=n=e'-:-----:-_ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsor: Council President George Leventhal and Councilmembers Berliner and Rice
AN ACT
to:
(1)
allow certain boards, committees, or commissions
to
advocate at the State and federal
levels ifthe advocacy is approved by the Office ofIntergovernmental Relations; and
(2) generally amend County law regarding boards, committees, and commissions.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 2B, Agricultural Land Preservation
Section 2B-2
Chapter SA, Cable Communications
Section SA-30
Chapter lOA, Child Care
Section lOA-4
Chapter lSA, Environmental Sustainability
Section ISA-SA
Chapter 19, Erosion, Sediment Control and Stormwater Management
Section 19-49
Chapter 21, Fire and Rescue Services
Section 21-2
Chapter 24, Health and Sanitation
Sections 24-7, 24-8,24-39,24-40,24-44,24-60, and 24-60A
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BILL No. 37-15
Chapter 27, Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Sections 27-5, 27-48, 27-52A, 27-61, and 27-63
Chapter 31 B, Noise Control
Section 31 B-4
Chapter 48, Solid Waste (Trash)
Sections and 48-42
Chapter 49, Streets and Roads
Section 49-80
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double under1jning
[[Double boldface bracketsD
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unqffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No.
37-15
1
2
Sec. 1. Sections 2B-2, 8A-30, 10A-4, 18A-8A, 19-49, 21-2, 24-27, 24-28,
24-39, 24-40, 24-44, 24-60, 24-6A, 27-5, 27-48, 27-52A, 27-61, 27-63, 31B-4,
48-4,}, 48-42, and 49-80 are amended as follows:
2B-2. Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board.
3
4
5
6
7
*
*
*
Advocacy.
The Board must not engage
in
any advocacy activity at the
State or federal levels unless that activity is approved Qy the Office of
Intergovernmental Relations.
8
9
10
11
12
8A-30. Cable and Communications Advisory Committee.
(a)
Established.
The Cable and Communications Advisory Committee may
provide advice and recommendations to the County Executive, County
Council, and the Department of Technology Services on all
telecommunications issues, including the administration of this Chapter
and any franchise agreement or application. The Committee must not
engage in any advocacy activity at the State or federal levels unless that
activity is approvedQy the Office ofIntergovernmental Relations.
13
14
15
16
17
18
*
10A-4. Commission on Child Care.
*
*
*
*
19
*
(i)
20
21
Advocacy.
The Commission must not engage in any advocacy activity
at the State or federal levels unless that activity is approved Qy the
Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
22
23
ill
[0)]
{k)
24
25
*
*
*
*
*
*
18A-8A. Advocacy.
[Energy and Air Quality Advisory Committee]
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BILL
No.
37-15
26
27
The Committee must not engage in any advocacy activity at the State or
federal levels unless that activity is approved
by
the Office of Intergovernmental
Relations.
19-49. Administration.
28
29
30
*
(b)
*
*
31
The County Executive, subject to confirmation by the Council, must
appoint a Water Quality Advisory Group, composed of up to 3 non­
voting representatives of government agencies and 15 voting members.
The voting members should consist of up to 3 representatives each of
academic and scientific experts, environmental groups, the agricultural
community, and the business community, with the rest from the public
at large. The Group must recommend
to
the Executive and the Council
by March 1 each year water quality goals, objectives, policies, and
programs. Each member must be appointed for a 3-year term unless
appointed to fill the balance of an unexpired term. The Group each year
must select a chair and any other officer it [mds necessary. The Group
must not engage in any advocacy activity at the State or federal levels
unless that activity is approved
by
the Office of Intergovernmental
Relations.
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
21-2. Fire and Emergency Services Commission.
46
47
48
*
!g)
*
*
Advocacy,
The Commission must not engage in any advocacy activity
at the State or federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the
Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
24-27. Advocacy.
49
50
[Commission on Health]
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BILL
No.
37-15
51
52
53
The Commission must not engage in any advocacy activity at the State or
federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the Office of Intergovernmental
Relations.
24-28. Staff support.
54
55
*
[24-28] 24-29-24-33. Reserved.
*
*
56
57
58
24-39. Advocacy.
{Mental Health Advisory Committee]
The Committee must not engage in any advocacy activity at the State or
federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the Office of Intergovernmental
Relations.
24-40. Staff support.
59
60
61
62
63
64
*
[24-40. Reserved.]
*
*
24-44. Advocacy.
{Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council]
The Council must not engage
in
any advocacy activity at the State or federal
levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
[24-44] 24-45-24-46. Reserved.
24-60. Advocacy.
[Victim Services Advisory Board]
The Board must not engage in any advocacy activity at the State or federal
levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
24-60A. Staff support.
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
*
*
*
*
*
*
27-5. Duties generally.
{Commission on Human Rights]
Advocacy_
The Commission must not engage in any advocacy activity
74
75
76
at the State or federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the
Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
77
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BILL
No.
37-15
78
27-48. Commission on Children and Youth Generally.
(e)
79
Advocac;y.
The Commission must not engage in any advocacy activity
at the State or federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the
Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
80
81
82
83
84
85
ill
*
*
*
27-S2A. Advocacy.
[Commission on People with Disabilities]
The Commission must not engage
in
any advocacy activity at the State or
federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the Office of Intergovernmental
Relations.
27-61. [Reserved] Advocacy.
[Committee for Ethnic Affairs]
The Committee must not engage in any advocacy activity at the State or
federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the Office of Intergovernmental
Relations.
27-63. Committee on HateNiolence.
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
*
(g)
*
*
93
Advocac;y.
The Commission must not engage in any advocacy activity
at the State or federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the
Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
94
95
96
31B-4. Noise control advisory board.
97
*
*
*
98
99
ill
Advocac;y.
The Commission must not engage in any advocacy activity
at the State or federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the
Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
100
101
102
103
104
48-41. Advocacy.
[Solid Waste Advisory Committee]
The Committee must not engage
in
any advocacy activity at the State or
federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the Office of Intergovernmental
Relations.
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BILL
No. 37-15
105
106
107
108
109
48-42. Administrative and staff support.
*
[48-42. Reserved.]
49-80. Rustic Roads Advisory Committee.
*
*
110
111
112
*
(t)
*
*
Advocacy.
The Commission must not engage in any advocacy activity
at the State or federal levels unless that activity is approved
Qy
the
Office ofIntergovernmental Relations.
113
114
*
Approved:
*
*
115
116
George Leventhal, President, County Council
Date
117
Approved:
118
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
119
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
120
Linda
M.
Lauer, Clerk ofthe Council
Date
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 37-15
Boards, Committees, and Commissions
-
Advocacy
DESCRIPTION:
Bill 37-15 would allow certain boards, committees, or commissions to
advocate at the State and federal levels if the advocacy is approved by
the Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
County law is not consistent and provides for varying levels of
advocacy authority for boards, committees, and commissions. Several
boards, committees, and commissions have indicated a desire to
advocate at the State and federal levels, but current law prevents them
from doing so.
To make County law more constituent regarding the advocacy
authority of boards, committees, and commissions.
Council and Executive staff; Chief Administrative Officer; Office of
Intergovernmental Relations
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
Amanda Mihill, Legislative Attorney, 240-777-7815
Not applicable.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITmN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
NI
A
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HHS COMMITTEE #1
July 2,2015
MEMORANDUM
July 1.2015
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee
Linda McMillan. Senior Legislative Analyst
~'~\\,t/
Advocacy by Boards, Committees, and Commissions
in
the Department of
Health and Human Services
Expected
lor
this
session:
Uma Ahluwalia, Director, Department of Health and Human Services
Melanie Wenger. Director, Office of Intergovernmental Relations
Edward Lattner. Division Chief of Government Operation, Office ofthe County Attorney
Dr. Seth Morgan. Chair, Commission on People with Disabilities
Susan Hartung, Commission on People with Disabilities and Chair of its Developmental
Disabilities Advisory Committee
On October 2. 2014 theHHS Committee met
to
receive an update on Resource
Coordination and to discuss the recommendations of the Developmental Disability Transition
Advisory Workgroup. While the major recommendations from the Workgroup were about the
County's role
in
providing resource coordination services to Developmentally Disabled adults
and transition aged youth. the Workgroup also recommended that the Montgomery County
Commission on People with Disabilities should be able to advocate within
the
County and at the
State and federal level.
The HHS Committee agreed that it would like
to
understand more about the authority of
all Boards, Committees,
and
Commission in the Department of Health
and
Human Services
(DHHS). This is a subset of all County
Boards,
Committees and Commissions.
At this session, the Committee will have an opportunity to review infonnation on
different provisions in the laws creating 15 Boards, Committees, and Commissions that are
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housed in DImS. The Committee will hear from the Commission on People with Disabilities
about its specific request The Committee will be able to discuss with
Ms.
Ahluwalia, Ms.
Wenger, and
Mr.
Lattner some ofthe broad issues around different levels ofauthority and the
need
to
coordinate with the Office ofIntergovernmental Relations any advocacy that goes
beyond the Executive, Council, and DHHS.
Council staffhas informed the Chairs of the 15 Boards, Committees, and Commissions
about
this
session. that this is an information and discussion session, and that they may follow-up
in writing if they have comments (this
will
allow the other Boards, Committees, or Commissions
to have an opportunity
to
discuss these issues if they wish.)
Overview Materials
Attached at
<0
K-P is a summary table prepared by Council
staff
that provides excerpts
from the authorizing laws for each Board, Committee, or Commission.
The
laws are also
attached
to
this memo
at
<01-52.
In addition, attached at CO A-D is a 2007 memo from County Attorney (then Deputy
County Attomey) Hansen regarding the authority ofBoards, Committees, and Commissions to
lobby, advise, and educate. Some points included in the memo:
• A committee must look
to
the document creating the committee to determine
ifthe
committee's mission includes the authority to lobby, educate, or advise.
• "Lobbying means any attempt to influence any legislative, executive, or administrative
action by a County agency." (County public ethics law) Education is intended to develop
knowledge through a systemic
study
of a matter. Unlike lobbying, education contains no
specific intent to persuade a decision maker
to
undertake a certain course ofaction.
• A committee is lobbying ifit is engaged in an activity that is intended to influence a
decision maker
to
take a pre-determined course of action. A committee that is authorized
to advise or educate should stop short of engaging in a campaign to pressure the decision
maker into undertaking a course ofaction advocated by the committee. The line between
advice
and
lobbying may be difficult to discern ... A committee that engages in an
advisory role should respect
the
right of a decision maker
to
arrive at a different
conclusion.
• As
long as it is clear that a committee member is acting in their personal capacity, no
committee member is precluded from contacting government officials to urge action on a
.
matter ofpublic importance.
• Even committees
that
have been authorized
to
lobby the State and federal government
must coordinate their efforts through the Office of Intergovernmental Relations (OIR).
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There Are Many Differences in the Laws Creating
Boards,
Committees, and Commissions
The HHS Committee will see that there are many differences in the authorizing language
for the DHHS Boards, Committees, and Commissions. Regarding membership. there are a range
of sizes
and
rules about whether ex-officio members are voting or non.:.voting. There are
differences
in
the minimum number of meetings that must be held
in
a year, some 6. some 8,
and
some 9. The Commission on Juvenile Justice specifies there must be one meeting held within 60
days of another.
(It
is a common practice for DHHS
Bo~
Committees,
and
Commissions to
not meet
in
August or December.) There are some unique provisions such one for the
Community Action Agency that says it must not participate
in
partisan political activities or
sectarian activities. However, the Community Action Agency, unlike other boards, is a conduit
for funding for programming.
With regard to lobbying, advocacy,
and
education the differences can most often
be
seen
in
the duties and with regard to whom the Board. Committee. or Commission distributes its
annual report.
For example:
• The Commission on Aging is to advise and counsel the resident of the County, County
Council. County Executive, and various deparonent of the County. State. and federal
governments.
This
is
perhaps the broadest authority.
• The Commission on Children and Youth is to advise the County Council, County
Executive, DHHS, and the Board of Education.
• The Commission on Juvenile Justice is to advise the Circuit Court, the Council and the
Executive and inform State legislators about juvenile needs.
• The Mental Health Advisory Committee cannot lobby or advocate beyond the Council
and Executive, but the law specifies that its annual report is to
be
disseminated to the
Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Mental Hygiene
Administration's Regional Director, and the Maryland Advisory Council on Mental
Hygiene.
In reality, there
is
often communication with staff from other County
and
State agencies
as most boards have representatives as a part oftheir membership. For example, the Commission
on Child Care has representatives from the Superintendent of Schools, Chairman of the
Montgomery County Planning Board, and the President of Montgomery College. However, this
does not allow direct communication between the
board
and the elected officials of the outside
agencies or the members of the General Assembly.
Two of the most recent commissions, the Commission on Veterans
Affairs
(2008) and
Interagency Commission on Homelessness (2014) have very specific language saying they must
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not engage in any advocacy activity at the state or federal levels unless
that
activity
is
approved
by OIR. This language is stricter
than
a requirement
to
coordinate with OIR.
Some boards serve dual pmposes. The Commission on Children and Youth is Children's
Council required
in
Maryland Code. The Interagency Commission on Homelessness is
the
ExecutivelPolicy Committee ofthe Continuum of Care,
as
required by federal Department of
Housing and Urban Development. The Citizen Review Panel implements State law regarding
local citizen review boards.
Request and Comments from Commission on People with Disabilities
Attached at
<0
E-F
are
comments from Dr. Morgan and at
C O-J
from Ms. Hartung. Dr.
Morgan, is requesting the Commission's law be changed to allow advocacy at the State and
federal level because the issues facing the disabled are not limited to the County level and
are
more and more a function of State and federal programs, such
as
Medicaid. Dr. Morgan notes
the variety of provisions for different Boards. Committees, and Commissions.
Ms.
Hartung
notes that the resolution regarding Resource Coordination (now Coordination ofCommunity
Resources)
was
successful due to informal work with members from the Developmental
Disabilities Administration and that primary funding for this population is from the Community
Pathways Waiver. She also notes the need
to
address the State ofMaryland's waiting
list
for
services.
Council staff respectfully disagrees with Dr. Morgan's comment that
there
seems
to be a
pattern that those groups unable
to
self-advocate are represented by Boards, Committees, and
Commissions, that are not allowed
to
lobby on their own
behalf.
Council staff believes it is more
a function of when the group was created and the specific circumstances being discussed at the
time.
As
previously noted, two ofthe most recently created groups, the Commission on Veterans
Affairs
and
the
Interagency Commission on Homelessness, have the same language (no
advocacy at State or federal level unless approved by OIR). Homeless people, particularly the
chronically homeless, are not a group that is generally successful at self-advocacy.
Questions
to
Consider
As
the HHS Committee considers the request from the Commission on People with
Disabilities or any other changes to authorizing law. it may want
to
consider the following.
• How does coordination with the Office of Intergovernmental Relations generally occur?
Is it different when there is a request to advocate at the State level
and
the federal level?
• What happens if a commission with the authority
to
advocate wants to testify with a
position or concern that is different
than
the position taken by the County?
• What happens if a commission with authority to advocate wants to testify on legislation
where the County is taking no position?
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• If
a commission does not have the authority to advocate at the State or federal level
and .
the County
thinks
there would
be
a benefit to having the Commission
testify,
is it allowed
to?
• Is the most recent language
that
prohibits advocacy at
the
State or Federa11evel unless
it
is approved by OIR a reasonable
standard?
Would this include being able to meet with
individual elected officials or their staff?
• Many commissions also have duties
to
make recommendations on budget, policies, or
programs.
This
could
be
considered something stronger
than
advising. Could a
commission correspond with
an
elected official at
the
State or
federal
level to "expl$"
its recommendation?
.
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