Per Montgomery County:
Committees will review radon testing requirements, limitations on rent increases, the Teacher Device Choice Pilot program, sewage disposal system requirements and WSSC Water Spending Control Limits; Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will also be discussed
The Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee will meet on Monday, Oct. 24 at 9:30 a.m. to review Bill 26-22, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Radon Testing and Mitigation – Required, and Expedited Bill 22-22, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Limitations on Rent Increases. The members of the PHED Committee include Chair Hans Riemer and Councilmembers Andrew Friedson (Lead for Parks) and Will Jawando.
The Education and Culture (E&C) Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to discuss a $750,000 Special Appropriation for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Technology Modernization Project. In addition, the Committee will receive its third briefing on the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. The members of the E&C Committee include Chair Craig Rice and Councilmembers Jawando (Lead for Libraries) and Nancy Navarro.
The Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee will also meet at 1:30 p.m. to discuss Bill 40-21, Individual Water Supply and Sewage Disposal Systems – Amendments, and Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) WSSC Water Spending Control Limits. The members of the T&E Committee include Chair Tom Hucker, Council Vice President Evan Glass and Councilmember Riemer.
More details on each agenda item are provided below.
Review: The PHED Committee will review Expedited Bill 22-22, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Limitations on Rent Increases, which would temporarily limit rent increases and notifications of rent increases, by landlords in the County. The lead sponsor is the Council President, at the request of the County Executive.
If enacted, during a period of six months after its effective date, any notices of rent increases in the County would be limited to no more than 4.4 percent. In addition, during the six-month period, a landlord within the County would be precluded from notifying a tenant of a rent increase that exceeds 4.4 percent. As a result, rent increases of more than 4.4 percent would be precluded for nine months after the bill’s effective date, since landlords in the County must give 90-days advance notice of a rent increase.
Review: The PHED Committee will review Bill 26-22, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Radon Testing and Mitigation – Required, which would require radon testing in rental housing, require disclosure and mitigation of radon hazards above a certain action level, and include lease requirements for certain rental units. The lead sponsor is Councilmember Rice. Councilmember Katz is a cosponsor.
Radon is a radioactive gas that is found in soil and rock in all parts of the U.S. It is formed by the decay of uranium, which is a natural process. Radon may be found in all types of homes and buildings. If there is radon gas in the ground, it can seep into a building and become trapped inside the home. The higher the radon level indoors, the greater the amount you breathe. Radon gas decays into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe and studies show that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind cigarette smoking.
Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY23 Capital Budget and Amendment to the FY23-28 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) – $750,000 for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Technology Modernization
Review: The E&C Committee will review a $750,000 Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY23 Capital Budget and Amendment to the FY23-28 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for the MCPS Technology Modernization Project.
The request will support a Teacher Device Choice Pilot Program in one elementary, middle and high school as a teacher retention strategy. The pilot program will study if device choice impacts teacher retention, technology support, infrastructure, equitable teaching and learning and budgeting. The appropriation will fund devices, licensing, repair, cables and connectors to monitors and interactive boards.
The Board of Education (BOE) approved the appropriation and amendment request. A public hearing is scheduled for Oct 25.
Briefing: The E&C Committee will receive an update on the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and this meeting will focus on college and career readiness. The Committee will receive a presentation covering recent steps taken to meet the Blueprint requirements and discuss student pathways and teacher readiness.
The Committee met on Oct. 3 to receive an update on high-quality and diverse teachers. This meeting followed the Committee’s first comprehensive briefing on the Blueprint that was held on March 10. The Blueprint is Maryland’s legislative framework to enable school systems from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 to perform as the best school systems in the world.
Approximately $3.8 billion is provided during a 10-year period to support specific education policy recommendations in five key areas: high-quality early childhood education and expansion; high-quality and diverse teachers and leaders; college and career readiness pathways; more resources to ensure all students are successful; and governance and accountability.
Review: The T&E Committee will review Bill 40-21, Individual Water Supply and Sewage Disposal Systems – Amendments, which would clarify definitions related to individual water supply and sewage disposal, require the owners of individual sewage disposal systems to periodically pump out the sewage treatment unit of the systems, and authorize use of Water Quality Protection Charge funds to partially reimburse septic system owners that pump out sewage treatment units. The purpose of the bill is to improve the maintenance of onsite sewer systems by requiring property owners to periodically pump-out sewerage treatment systems.
The lead sponsor is the Council President at the request of the County Executive.
Review: The T&E Committee will review and make recommendations to the full Council on the FY24 WSSC Water Spending Control Limits. WSSC’s spending control limits process was established in April 1994 via resolution by both Montgomery and Prince George’s County Councils, with the goal of both Councils agreeing on certain budgetary limits by Nov. 1 of each year.
WSSC Water is the bi-county governmental agency charged with providing water and sanitary sewer service within the Washington Suburban Sanitary District, which includes most of Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.
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.