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Posted on: November 17, 2020

COUNTY COUNCIL CONVENES FINAL SESSION OF LEGISLATIVE YEAR 2020

Supports Continued Declaration of Emergency; Authorizes COVID19-Related Public Safety Hazard Pay; Adopts “Healthy Kids Meals” Legislation; Enacts Several Zoning Bills

The Prince George’s County Council convened virtually for its final session of Legislative Year 2020 on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.   The Council will meet on December 1, 2020, for the Exchange of the Gavel, and schedule a December date to convene in response to COVID-19. 

Council Chair Todd M. Turner (D) – District 4, commended the Council’s work over the past year to pass legislation addressing the needs and concerns of residents, especially during the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

“This has been a challenging Legislative Year for the Council and the residents we are privileged to represent.  I commend my Council colleagues, and the Legislative Branch staff, for a very successful year of work on behalf of Prince Georgians.  In collaboration  with County Executive Alsobrooks and her administration, we were able to enact legislation that improves quality of life for County residents, and addresses the issues that concern us all, especially during this time of crisis.”

The day-long session began with the introduction of Council Resolutions, followed by a review of Proposed Correspondence, 27 public hearings, and several measures eligible for a final Council vote, including CR-125-2020, legislation concerning the County’s seventh continued Declaration of Emergency, and Council Bill CB-071-2020, more commonly known as the “Healthy Kids Meal Bill.” Several zoning bills and legislation related to hazard pay for public safety and other County officials were also approved.

Among the bills enacted on Tuesday, and subject to County Executive Angela Alsobrooks' signature:

Prince George’s County Continued Declaration of Emergency

Tuesday’s Council action included the introduction and adoption of CR-125-2020, legislation continuing the County’s Declaration of Emergency. Council Bill 125-2020, the County’s seventh continued Declaration of Emergency addressing the impact of the current COVID-19 surge  and the County’s return to a hybrid Phase1/Modified Phase2 status, as recently announced by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. 

Healthy Kids Meals

Council Members voted unanimously to approve CB-071-2020, far-reaching legislation to provide healthy food options for young people in the immediate community.  Following the unanimous vote, Council Member Sydney Harrison commented, “As the bill’s sponsor, Vice-Chair of the Council’s Health, Human Services committee, and a member of this legislative body committed to ‘Health in All Policies,’ I want to thank my Council colleagues and staff for their support and assistance with the passage of this groundbreaking legislation that moves us closer to a Healthier Prince George’s County.  I also want to thank coalition partners Sugar Free Kids Maryland, the Prince George’s Food Equity Council, and the American Heart Association for vigorously supporting this bill, and the speakers who testified in favor of the bill for their engagement in our legislative process.   I look forward to continuing our work with the restaurant industry and business community as part of our shared commitment to promote a culture of health and wellness in Prince George’s County, especially as we all continue to respond to the devastating impacts of COVID-19 in our communities.”

 Health in All Policies Legislation

Tuesday’s Council adoption of CR-127-2020  establishes an approach to recognize health factors outside of clinical settings and require communities to  carefully consider their investment choices for health. The legislation, which references the recommendations in the most recent RAND report, states in part, “The Prince George’s County Council, sitting as the Board of Health, believes in Health in All Policies as a collaborative approach that integrates and articulates health  considerations into policymaking across all sectors to improve the health of all communities and people.”  CR-099-2020,  legislation designating Healthy Foods Priority Areas in the County, for targeted tax incentives for grocery stores, also received final Council approval on Tuesday. 

 Landlord-Tenant Code

CB-078-2020, legislation supported by the Council, amends the Landlord-Tenant Code to limit a landlord’s ability to increase rent for tenants above a certain amount during the COVID-19 health crisis. The Council also enacted CB-53-2020, legislation requiring that any air conditioning equipment provided by a landlord shall be properly installed, connected and maintained; and be able to generate temperatures at a certain level.

 Hazard Pay

The Council supported   15 Council Resolutions related to COVID-19 hazard pay for public safety officials, first responders and County support staff, including but not limited to correctional officers, police, fire fighters and paramedics.

 Zoning Matters

Council Members enacted several zoning bills, including but not limited to an ordinance concerning Food Halls, CB-070-2020; legislation prohibiting fly ash landfills in the County, CB-083-2020; enacted required updates to the County Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations and extensions of certain development plans.  

For the full agenda and details of the Council’s final session for Legislative Year 2020, visit the Council’s Legislative Information and Zoning System (LZIS).

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