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Maryland Politics
Posted at 06:31 PM ET, 06/18/2012

Montgomery council member pushes for additional hiring help for those with disabilities

People with disabilities need help finding work in Montgomery County, says one county official, so he’s trying to change the county charter to make it happen.

County Council member Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville) said he wants to create a special county hiring authority to recruit and hire people with significant disabilities into county jobs.

But he can’t do so without a charter amendment, which must be approved by the voters. A public hearing on the amendment is expected to take place June 28. Afterward, a majority of the County Council would need to support the issue for it to appear on the ballot.

Andrews said council attorneys would hash out how the authority would work after the public hearing. County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said Monday that he strongly supports the amendment.

“The county government has the ability to do more than it’s doing now,” said Andrews, who has been active in the disabled community. In 2000, he wrote the first county law in the nation that prevents employers from discriminating against those with unfavorable genetic traits.

According to U.S. Census data, about 7 percent of Montgomery County residents, or 69,000 people, have disabilities. That’s lower than the federal average, at 12 percent.

By  |  06:31 PM ET, 06/18/2012

 
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