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Posted on: November 15, 2023

Council Enacts Measures on ER Wait Times, Tax Credit for Public Safety Officers, Zoning Regulations

Measures Proposed by Vice Chair Wala Blegay Address People’s Council Core Tenets 

The Prince George’s County Council on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, considered and enacted several measures addressing the core tenets of the People’s Council.

Council Vice Chair Wala Blegay (District 6) noted three measures she sponsored in direct response to the needs of County residents. 

“From the onset of my term, there were several community concerns that demanded immediate attention and shaped the People’s Agenda.  This Council has been working tirelessly to ensure we are effectively responding with policies that address the needs of County residents, including those for healthcare, smart and quality development, and increasing services for our residents,” said Blegay. 

CR-082-2023, which garnered unanimous support, establishes an Emergency Room Wait Times Task Force to identify the root causes of excessive wait times in the County’s emergency rooms, study the regulatory environment, access, and availability of healthcare services and in-patient bed availability, and provide the Council with policy recommendations.

The Council also voted to provide a tax credit of $2,500 to incentivize public safety officers to live and work in the County. Under CB-087-2023, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, correctional officers, police officers, and deputy sheriffs employed full-time by a public safety agency, and volunteer firefighters or volunteer emergency medical technicians for the County’s Fire/EMS Department would be eligible for the credit. 

In other action during Tuesday’s session, the Council enacted CB-086-2023, repealing legislation allowing for new development to waive the Adequate Public Safety Facilities Test. The measure ensures that development does not exceed the service capacity and adequate coverage area of the County’s current law enforcement, especially our police and firefighters. 

“Right now, Prince George’s County needs hundreds of police officers and firefighters,” said Vice Chair Wala Blegay. “We are placing our communities at risk with development that ignores infrastructure concerns.  Without adequate public safety staffing, more development will only increase wait times during emergencies and possibly lead to loss of life.” 

This measure takes effect 30 days after it becomes law. 

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