Montgomery County Council Committees Hold Meetings Today Starting at 1 p.m.

by Patrick Herron
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Per Montgomery County:

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Committees to review legislation that would prohibit no-rehire clauses from County employee settlement agreements, mandate that the Council appropriate 10 percent of the fuel-energy tax revenue to the County Green Bank and modify the County’s current environmental benchmarking law to include additional County-owned, commercial and multifamily buildings

The Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO Committee will meet virtually on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. to review Bill 32-21, Personnel – Employee Settlement Agreements with No-Rehire Clause – Prohibited.

The members of the GO Committee include Chair Nancy Navarro and Councilmembers Andrew Friedson and Sidney Katz.

The joint GO and Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee will meet virtually at 1:30 p.m. to review Bill 44-21, Montgomery County Green Bank – Funding – Fuel-energy tax Revenue.

The members of the T&E Committee include Chair Tom Hucker, Council Vice President Evan Glass and Councilmember Hans Riemer.

The Transportation and Environment (T&E) will meet virtually at 2:15 p.m. to review Bill 16-21, Environmental Sustainability – Building Energy Use Benchmarking and Performance Standards – Amendments.

Bill 32-21, Personnel – Employee Settlement Agreements with No-Rehire Clause – Prohibited

Review: The GO Committee will review Bill 32-21, Personnel – Employee Settlement Agreements with No-Rehire Clause – Prohibited. The purpose of the bill is to prohibit no-rehire clauses from County employee settlement agreements. Councilmember Hucker is the lead sponsor of the legislation.

When an employee files an employment dispute or claim against the County, and a settlement agreement is offered, it currently contains a no-rehire clause that prevents the employee from seeking future employment opportunities with the County. This automatic bar prohibits County employees who may have gained several years of knowledge, skills and abilities from returning to County employment, even after the dispute has been settled.

The bill also provides an exemption to include a no-rehire clause, if the County and the employee mutually agree or if the employee was terminated for cause. In addition, the bill provides the option for an aggrieved employee to file an appeal with the County’s Merit System Protection Board, if a decision was made to include the no-rehire clause in the settlement agreement.

Bill 44-21, Montgomery County Green Bank – Funding – Fuel-energy Tax Revenue

Review: The joint GO and T&E Committee will review Bill 44-21, Montgomery County Green Bank – Funding – Fuel-energy Tax Revenue, which would mandate that the Council appropriate 10 percent of the fuel-energy tax revenue to the County Green Bank each year in the annual operating budget. The Montgomery County Green Bank was established by Bill 18-15, which was enacted by the Council in 2015.

The Green Bank promotes the investment in clean energy technologies in the County by offering financing structures to lower the cost of financing these technologies for County residential and commercial properties. The fuel-energy tax is levied and imposed on every person transmitting, distributing, manufacturing, producing, or supplying electricity, gas, steam, coal, fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas in the County. The bill is being spearheaded by Councilmembers Hucker and Friedson. Councilmembers Riemer, Navarro, Katz, Rice and Jawando and Council President Albornoz are cosponsors.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Tom Deyo, chief executive officer, Green Bank; Stephen Morel, chief investment officer, Green Bank; and Stan Edwards, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Bill 16-21, Environmental Sustainability – Building Energy Use Benchmarking and Performance Standards – Amendments

Review: The T&E Committee will review Bill 16-21 Environmental Sustainability – Building Energy Use Benchmarking and Performance Standards – Amendments, which would modify the County’s current environmental benchmarking law to include additional County-owned, commercial and multifamily buildings to meet the long-term energy performance standards. The Council President is the lead sponsor, at the request of the County Executive.

The legislation would expand the number of buildings covered by benchmarking requirements; amend certain definitions; establish energy performance standards for covered buildings with certain gross floor area; create a 15-voting member Building Performance Improvement Board that will advise the Department of Environmental Protection on the implementation of building energy performance standards; and establish a Building Performance Improvement Plan (BPIP) process for properties that cannot reasonably meet performance standards. The bill also requires reports to the County Executive and Council on building energy performance for covered buildings.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Adriana Hochberg, acting director, DEP; Stan Edwards, chief, Energy, Climate and Compliance Division, DEP; Lindsey Shaw, manager, energy and sustainability programs, DEP; and Emily Curley, manager, Commercial Energy Program, DEP.

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 and committees are meeting via Zoom because of ongoing construction and technology upgrades in the Council’s Hearing Room and the inability to conduct meetings in a socially distant way in other areas of the Council Office Building with television broadcast capacity. Councilmembers continue to hold meetings in their offices by appointment.

The virtual Council and committee meetings will be 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.

Release ID: 21-498
Media Contact: Sonya Healy, 240-777-7926 , Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884

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