Ambulance Fee Work Session Set For May 11
The Montgomery County Council’s Public Safety Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 11, to hold a worksession on County Executive Isiah Leggett’s proposal to impose an Emergency Medical Services Transport fee (ambulance fee). The fee was first proposed in 2010 and approved by the Council, but was rejected by a voter referendum.
The Public Safety Committee, which is chaired by Phil Andrews and includes Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Marc Elrich, will meet in the Seventh Floor Council Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. They meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be available via streaming through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.
On Tuesday, May 8, more than 30 speakers testified at a public hearing on Expedited Bill 17-12 that would create the Emergency Medical Services transport fee. County Executive Leggett proposed the fee this year after he submitted his recommended budget on March 15. Bill 17-12 would impose a reimbursement fee to recover costs for transports. For most County residents, the fees (ranging from an estimated $300 to $800) would be paid by their health insurers. Any remaining fees for county residents have been covered by the taxes they already pay. Non-county residents could apply for hardship waivers.
In a November 2010 referendum, voters rejected a bill very similar to Bill 17-12 by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent.
At the conclusion of its worksession, the committee may vote to offer its recommendation on the bill. The full Council is tentatively scheduled to discuss the bill on Tuesday, May 15.