With the next Maryland General Assembly session on the horizon, the Board of County Commissioners is looking ahead to what legislation it wants to see pursued.

In total, commissioners voted to move forward on 12 different pieces of legislation. Many are in relation to the heroin epidemic and education funding. Commissioners discussed the bills twice last month — first, on Sept. 21 at a commissioners meeting and most recently this week during a joint meeting with local delegates and senators.


Three of the major bills, which were introduced by Commissioner Dennis Frazier, R-District 3, dealt with the opioid crisis and treatment. The bills deal with mandatory holds for those who have overdosed, mandatory counseling for patients being prescribed maintenance drugs for opioid dependence and mandatory post-detoxification counseling.

Frazier said right now, if a person overdoses on drugs and is revived, that person can refuse medical help, and get up and walk away.

"There's no way to stop you," he added.

County agencies and government departments came together Wednesday at the Not in Carroll Forum.

This legislation would require someone to be taken into the hospital and held for 12 hours, similar to the 72-hour hold for someone who is suicidal, he said. In that 12 hours, a person would have the opportunity to be evaluated, get counseling and be given information, he added.

Everyone knows the drug epidemic is out of control, he said, and counties need to try something different than what's being done now.

"I think it's a way to try to combat some of this stuff that's going on, and I think it's necessary," Frazier said.

Frazier is also pushing to make sure those who are using maintenance drugs to try to stop heroin use are required to have counseling and proof of counseling. Right now, he said, a person can say they are getting counseling, but they don't have to prove it.

"Unless you change your mindset, you're going to be on those maintenance drugs for the rest of your life," he added.

The final piece would make sure transition from rehab to a sober house or outpatient treatment happens seamlessly. If that next step doesn't happen immediately, Frazier said, a person often relapses.

"I think it's important that they have the help they need," he added.

The two other major bills deal with education. They were introduced by Commissioner Doug Howard, R-Disitrict 5.

The first bill deals with maintenance of effort and asks that in instances where a county governing body appropriated funds in the school operating budget for education at the same level as the prior fiscal year despite declining enrollment, the required per-pupil maintenance of effort should be frozen at the funding level for the prior fiscal year.

Still, Howard's legislation would push for more funding from the state, something that upset some members of the delegation.


Del. Susan Krebs, R-District 5, said during the joint meeting on Sept. 26 that it's a three-year bill, and that's what the county is going to get in the way of hold harmless.

"It's not feasible to keep paying school systems when they need to adjust," she said.

Sen. Justin Ready, R-District 5, agreed.

"There's really no way to get beyond that," he said.

Howard did not return multiple requests for comment and was not in attendance at the delegation meeting.

Frazier also introduced three environmental pieces of legislation, although only one was backed by the commissioners and moved forward. The two ideas that didn't move forward discussed regulations about plastic bags and Styrofoam containers.

The third, which involves grey water — using water from bathtubs, sink and laundry to flush toilets — got support from commissioners.

Other bills commissioners proposed include: a bond bill, a gaming-related bill to repeal Sunday prohibition; a pinball licensing bill; a bill regarding private land protection; a bill involving land easements for special occasion events; and a wildlife management plan for state- and locally-owned properties in excess of 20 acres.