Per Montgomery County: The joint Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education and Culture (EC) Committee will meet on Thursday, March 2 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss FY23-28 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) amendments for the High School Wellness Center and Expanded Wellness Services project. They will also receive updates on the implementation of expanded wellness services in high schools and the implementation of mental health supports for youth. The members of the HHS Committee include Chair Gabe Albornoz and Councilmembers Dawn Luedtke and Laurie-Anne Sayles. The members of the EC Committee include Chair Will Jawando and Councilmembers Albornoz and Kristin Mink.
The Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee will meet at 10 a.m. for a policy discussion about Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB). The committee will also review Expedited Bill 5-23, Personnel and Human Resources – Prospective Employees – Health Care Privacy, and Bill 8-23, Boards, Committees, and Commissions – Open Meetings – Supplemental Requirements. The members of the GO Committee include Chair Kate Stewart, Council Vice President Andrew Friedson and Councilmember Sidney Katz.
The HHS Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to receive a briefing on health care for the uninsured.
The members of the HHS Committee include Chair Albornoz and Councilmembers Luedtke and Sayles.
More detail on each agenda item is provided below.
Review: The joint HHS and EC Committee will review the County Executive’s recommended amendment to the High School Wellness Center and Expanded Wellness Services project in the FY23-28 CIP. This project supports the delivery of health and human service-related programs integrated within County high schools.
Update: The joint HHS and EC Committee will receive an update on the implementation of school-based mental health and positive youth development services. The Council funded multiple initiatives in the FY23 operating budget to support the mental health and social services for high school students, including funding to open the wellness center at John F. Kennedy High School and an increase of $9.2 million to expand mental health, case management and positive youth development services through the Street Outreach Network and community-based services providers to all high schools without a full wellness center.
Review: The GO Committee is expected to discuss potential updates to the OPEB funding policy, which is a framework for the use of OPEB Trust assets to fund Montgomery County Government’s portion of annual retiree health insurance costs. The current OPEB policy was developed jointly by the Council and Executive via Resolution 16-555 in 2008. In 2019, the GO Committee asked that Executive Branch and Council staff begin exploring options to update the County’s OPEB funding policy to establish funded ratio goals and milestones. The work to update the County’s OPEB policy was delayed due to the pandemic. Council and Executive branch staff have been meeting since late summer to review and develop policy options in collaboration with County’s actuarial consultant – Bolton Partners.
Review: The GO Committee is expected to review and make a recommendation on Expedited Bill 5-23, Personnel and Human Resources -Prospective Employees – Health Care Privacy. The expedited bill would limit inquiries by the County regarding certain health information of prospective employees, prohibit inquiries by the County regarding certain reproductive health information of prospective employees, limit consideration of certain health information of prospective County employees and generally amend the laws regarding human resources and health care privacy.
Councilmembers Albornoz, Balcombe, Stewart and Vice President Friedson are cosponsors of Bill 5-23. A public hearing was held on February 14.
Review: The GO Committee is expected to review Bill 8-23, Boards, Committees, and Commissions – Open Meetings – Supplemental Requirements, which would require boards, committees, and commissions to publish, within certain timeframes, the dates, times and locations of meetings, meeting agendas, and meeting minutes, among other measures. The bill would generally amend the laws regarding boards, committees and commissions, and regarding open meetings. Councilmember Luedtke is the lead sponsor. Councilmember Katz and Council President Glass are cosponsors. A public hearing was held on February 28.
Update: The HHS Committee will receive an update on the County’s safety-net programs that provide medical services for uninsured residents. For years the County has made a significant investment of local funds to provide a safety net of health care services for uninsured individuals. In FY23, this investment totals over $20 million for these programs. This effort has continued through many changes in the health care environment, including the passage of the Affordable Care Act and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. These changed and evolving conditions have resulted in a need to evaluate the reimbursement and other operational structures of the Health Care for the Uninsured programs.
The Committee meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council and Committee agendas, Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.
The Council recommends that residents, who choose to attend in-person Council or committee meetings, get fully vaccinated to protect themselves and others against COVID-19. If this is not possible, virtual participation is encouraged.
Council and committee meetings are streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056, Fios 30, and on the CCM live stream.
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