County Council Meets on March 19 to Vote on Legislation to Limit Inquiries of Prospective Employees’ Health Information


The Montgomery County Council will meet on Tuesday, March 19th. Full agenda below courtesy Montgomery County:

Legislative Session

Bill 5-24, Finance – Child Investment Fund

Introduction: Lead sponsors Councilmembers Will Jawando and Gabe Albornoz will introduce Bill 5-24, Finance – Child Investment Fund, which would establish a non-lapsing Child Investment Fund administered by the Department of Finance and prescribe the permitted uses of the fund. Additionally, Bill 5-24 would establish individual eligibility requirements to seek disbursements from the fund, require the Department of Finance to issue annual reports regarding the fund and establish a Child Investment Fund Advisory Committee.

Bill 44-23, Human Rights and Civil Liberties – Prospective Employees – Health Care Privacy

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Bill 44-23, Human Rights and Civil Liberties – Prospective Employees – Health Care Privacy, which would limit inquiries by employers regarding certain health information of prospective employees. In addition, the bill would prohibit inquiries by employers regarding certain sexual and reproductive health information of prospective employees, limit consideration by employers of certain health information of prospective employees and permit enforcement by the Office of Human Rights and the Commission on Human Rights. The lead sponsors of Bill 44-23 are Councilmembers Albornoz and Luedtke. Councilmembers Katz, Vice President Kate Stewart and Councilmember Jawando are cosponsors.

The joint Health and Human Services (HHS) and Economic Development (ECON) Committee recommends enactment.

District Council Session

Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment

Review: The Council will review the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment and take straw votes on the recommendations of the Planning, Housing and Parks (PHP) Committee. This discussion is a continuation of the meeting held on March 12, during which the Council received a presentation about the recommendations of the PHP Committee. The plan makes recommendations to improve quality of life, guide future development and encourage improvements to the natural and built environments within the plan area. A minor master plan amendment, like the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment, revisits a specific portion of the approved and adopted master plan and reexamines certain elements, often to address a change that was not anticipated at the time the adopted master plan was approved. This plan amendment would update portions of the 2000 Takoma Park Master Plan with the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment.

This amendment re-envisions the areas within the plan boundary that include the Washington Adventist Hospital and University Campuses, the Erie Center (located at the intersection of Flower Avenue and Erie Avenue), multi-family properties, parks and the Takoma Park Community Center located along Maple Avenue The plan boundary was determined by the Montgomery County Planning Board in coordination with the City of Takoma Park. The plan boundary was approved by the Planning Board on Sept. 30, 2021. The Council held a public hearing on the plan at Takoma Park Middle School on January 25.

In recent years, the Council and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) have approved and adopted two sector plans for communities in Takoma Park and adjacent areas. These include the 2012 Takoma-Langley Crossroads Sector Plan and the 2013 Long Branch Sector Plan. These plans, in addition to the 2021 Retail in Diverse Communities Study, have informed the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment process.

Executive Regulation 4-24: Late-Night Business Safety Plan Program

Introduction, review and vote expected: The Council will introduce, review and is expected to vote on proposed regulations required under Bill 14-23, which was enacted by the Council on May 16, 2023. The proposed regulations provide a uniform safety plan process for those businesses in areas experiencing higher than normal call volume during late-night hours. The regulations define which business are required to submit and implement a safety plan and specifies the plan’s mandatory elements, including the process for review, appeals and violations. The regulation also establishes a safety plan review panel and a grant program for businesses that may be eligible for a $10,000 rebate.

The goal of Bill 14-23 is to help reduce violent crime often associated with businesses that operate between midnight and 6 a.m. in priority areas identified by the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD). The law requires that certain businesses obtain an approved late night business safety plan before operating in certain areas of the County and authorize the police department to review and approve a proposed late night business safety plan. Additionally, the bill authorizes the police department to establish the requirements of a late-night business plan.

FY25-30 Capital Improvements Program

Conservation of Natural Resources – Storm Drains, Conservation of Natural Resources – Stormwater Management

Review: The Council is expected to review the FY25-30 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for storm drains and stormwater management. The recommended Storm Drains FY25-30 CIP is more than $35.2 million over the six-year period, or a decrease of 2.9 percent from the approved FY23-28 CIP. The decrease is due to the removal of one-time American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. However, there are inflationary increases recommended for three ongoing projects and the addition of the new River Falls Storm Drain Improvements project.

The recommended Stormwater Management FY25-30 CIP is more than $306 million over the six-year period, which is an increase of more than $177 million, or 137.6 percent, from the approved FY23-28 CIP. Much of the increase is for the implementation of the new Flood Management Plan, which includes $153 million over the six-year period. Additionally, ongoing work in the CIP is intended to meet the impervious area retrofit requirement in the County’s current National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System-Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit. In addition, the Wheaton Regional Dam Flooding Mitigation project had been moved to FY26 due to delays in the Dennis Avenue Bridge Replacement project.

The Transportation and Environment (TE) Committee recommends approval of the FY25-30 Storm Drains CIP as recommended by the County Executive.

Recycling and Resource Management

Review: The Council is expected to review the Recycling and Resource Management FY25-30 CIP, which includes more than $41 million over the six-year period. This is a decrease of nearly $16 million, or 27.8 percent, from the Amended FY23-28 CIP. The CIP includes two ongoing projects for the full upgrade of the recycling center complex and the remediation of the Gude Landfill. The Oaks Landfill Leachate Pretreatment Plant Retrofitting Project is a new CIP project. The reduction in six-year expenditures is due to the ongoing projects moving through design and construction phase and the completion of the Transfer Station Fire Detection and Suppression System.

The TE Committee recommends approval of the FY25-30 Recycling and Resource Management CIP as recommended by the County Executive.

Health and Human Services – Diversion Center and Non-Congregate Shelter Space

Review: The Council is expected to review the recommended FY25-30 CIP projects for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) that are not education related. In this category of projects, the HHS Committee has reviewed and recommends approval of the Diversion Center and Non-Congregate Shelter Space projects as submitted by the Executive. The joint HHS and Education and Culture (EC) Committee is scheduled to meet on March 21 to discuss five additional education-related DHHS FY25-30 CIP projects. The total FY25-30 CIP for DHHS includes more than $81 million over the six-year period, which represents a $9.8 million, or 10.7 percent, decrease from the Amended FY23-28 CIP.

The Diversion Center will offer a continuum of interconnected crisis services that support the diversion of people experiencing a behavioral health crisis from emergency departments and criminal justice facilities to a more clinically appropriate community-based setting. The Non-Congregate Shelter Space Project will allow the County to consider how a non-congregate shelter space for individuals who experience acute challenges in congregate shelters could add to the County’s homeless services system.

Public Arts Trust

Review: The Council is expected to review the more than $2.4 million FY25-30 CIP for the Public Arts Trust, which is the same amount over the six-year period that the trust received in prior fiscal years. The Public Arts Trust is used to incorporate art into public facilities and sponsor privately funded, temporary or permanent displays of art on public property.

The EC Committee recommends approval of the FY25-30 Public Arts Trust CIP as recommended by the County Executive.

Libraries

Review: The Council is expected to review the nearly $70.2 million FY25-30 CIP for Montgomery County Public Libraries, which represents an increase of more than $25 million, or 55.5 percent, from the Approved Amended FY23-28 CIP over the six-year period. The increase is primarily due to updated cost estimates for the Clarksburg Library, moving costs for the Chevy Chase Library and Redevelopment Project into the six-year period and cost increases for the Library Refurbishment Level of Effort Project.

The EC Committee recommends approval of each of the five projects in the Libraries CIP as recommended by the County Executive. In addition, the committee also reviewed and recommends approval the $6.8 million FY23-28 CIP amendment and FY24 supplemental appropriation request for the Clarksburg Library, which are needed to evaluate and purchase an alternate site for the library building. The proposed alternate site is located near Maryland Route 355 and Stringtown Road.

Montgomery College

Review: The Council is expected to review the more than $462 million FY23-28 CIP requested by Montgomery College, which represents an increase of more than of $122.3 million from the amended approved FY23-28 CIP over the six-year period. The request includes three new or substantially expanded projects — $60 million for the East County Campus, $4.2 million for the Germantown Student Affairs Building Renovation and more than $72 million for the Rockville Theatre Arts Building Renovation. The request also includes cost increases to several existing projects.

The County Executive’s recommended FY25-30 CIP for Montgomery College is $381 million, which includes funding for the East County Campus but does not include funding for the Rockville Theatre Arts Building Renovation. In addition, the County Executive recommends a more than $8 million current revenue affordability reconciliation.

In response, Montgomery College submitted non-recommended reductions on February 9 that are consistent with the County Executive’s recommendations. These reductions would eliminate the Rockville Theatre Arts Building Renovation project and reduce funding for information technology initiatives by eliminating requested increases for information technology, network infrastructure and server operations, and student learning support systems.

The EC Committee recommends fully funding the College’s initial request of more than $462 million, which would retain funding for the Rockville Theatre Arts Building Renovation and the more than $8 million in requested increases for information technology projects, pending final reconciliation and affordability constraints. In addition, the committee recommended that funding for the Rockville Theatre Arts Building Renovation be evenly divided between FY27 and FY28, and that FY29 funding be evenly divided between FY29 and FY30. The committee expects to meet at a later date to review an updated project description for the Collegewide Library Renovations project.

Consent Calendar

Each item on the Council’s Consent Calendar can be found on the Council agenda for Tuesday, March 19, which is available on the Council website.

Public Hearings

Unless otherwise noted, the Council will hold the following hybrid public hearings at 1:30 p.m.  Residents can visit the Council website to learn about the multiple ways to provide testimony.

Amendment to the FY23-28 Capital Improvement Program and Special Appropriation and Amendment to the FY24 Capital Budget, Montgomery County Government, Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Nonprofit Preservation Fund, $19,999,000

Supplemental Appropriation #24-60 to the FY24 Operating Budget, Montgomery County Government, Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Continuum of Care Program Grant, $527,733

 


 

Resolution to approve Montgomery County Department of Transportation Title VI Implementation Plan Update FY 2024-2026, Title VI Compliance Monitoring Report, Title VI Public Participation Plan and Title VI Language Assistance Plan

Introduction, review and vote expected: The Council will introduce, review and is expected to vote on a resolution to approve the Title VI Implementation Plan Update, Title VI Compliance Monitoring Report, Title VI Public Participation Plan and Title VI Language Assistance Plan. The documents, which will be submitted to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), are required for recipients of public transportation funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the MTA to ensure that federal and state transit dollars are used in a manner that is nondiscriminatory as required under Title VI FTA Circular 4702.IB. The Title VI program must be updated every three years. MCDOT has indicated to the Council that they are facing a deadline of March 31, 2024, to submit the reports.

Amendment to the FY23-28 Capital Improvements Program and Supplemental Appropriation #24-53 to the FY24 Capital Budget, Montgomery County Government, Department of Public Libraries Clarksburg Library, $6,830,000

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on the more than $6.8 million FY23-28 CIP amendment and FY24 supplemental appropriation request for the Clarksburg Library, which is needed to evaluate and purchase an alternate site for the library building. The proposed alternate site is located near Maryland Route 355 and Stringtown Road. The EC Committee recommends approval.

M-NCPPC Semi-Annual Presentation to the Council

Presentation: The Council will receive a presentation on the Semi-Annual Report of the Planning Board, which outlines accomplishments and current work program items of both the Parks and Planning Departments. The Semi-Annual Report to the Council typically occurs in the spring and fall each year.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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