End of Session Wrap Up: Finance and Procurement Legislation – Investment, 911 Surcharge, and Purchasing

This post summarizes the status of various finance and procurement bills that MACo either considered or took a position on.

Local Government Self-Insurance Funds: HB 174/SB 463 would give local governments greater flexibility to invest self-insurance funds in a more diversified manner. MACo supported  this legislation to give local governments the authority to invest these dollars in longer term funds, which could result in enhanced investment returns.  Status: Both bills have passed the General Assembly and are awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Letters of Credit – Collateral: HB 868/SB 606 would add a letter of credit (LOC) issued by a Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) to the list of collateral that can be used to secure public funds that the State has on deposit with financial institutions.  MACo supported this legislation, which would clarify that the State Treasurer can accept FHLB letters of credit as collateral to secure these funds. Certain local governments currently have LOCs from FHLBs as collateral to secure funds being held by the State Treasurer.  Status: Both bills have passed the General Assembly and are awaiting the Governor’s signature.

911 Surcharge on Prepaid Services:  HB 779 would reasonably extend Maryland’s current 9-1-1 charge to prepaid wireless services and ensure Maryland’s 9-1-1 system is appropriately supported.  The distribution of this new revenue as 75% to counties for costs associated with maintenance and operations of local 911 systems and 25% to the enhancement fund administered by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.   MACo supported this legislation.  Status: HB 779 failed in the House Health and Government Operations Committee.

Intergovernmental Cooperative Purchasing AgreementsHB 992 would create new provisions seeking to mandate intergovernmental cooperative purchasing agreements between State and local entities.  It would also authorize certain State agencies to withhold funds from local governments if the local governments do not participate in at least one intergovernmental cooperative purchasing arrangement.  MACo opposed this legislation as it believes it is unnecessary and punitive in nature.  It prefers an approach that would provide incentives and remove obstacles to developing these types of purchasing agreements.  Status:  HB 992 was withdrawn by the sponsor.

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