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State government is involved with the delivery of almost every public service in Maryland. In many instances, the State’s role is limited to providing oversight and/or funding for a locally delivered service, while in other cases the State acts as a direct service provider. Government services that are provided exclusively by the State include four-year higher education, health insurance for the indigent, welfare, most social services, corrections (long-term incarceration), State highway maintenance and construction, and enforcement of worker safety.

The State and local governments both act as direct service providers with respect to enforcing environmental standards, administering Maryland’s judicial system, offering police services, developing and maintaining recreational programs, and promoting economic and community development. The division of responsibilities between the State and local governments in these areas is clearly delineated with respect to most of the services. In areas such as police protection, the division of labor is often less formal with variations found in different parts of the State.

The State’s role is limited to oversight and/or funding for public education, libraries, community colleges, fire and rescue services, water and sewerage systems, and solid waste management. In these areas, the counties, municipalities, or quasi-governmental agencies act as the direct service provider.