During its annual fall retreat, MACo’s Board of Directors met with Administration representatives to discuss the organization’s 2014 legislative priorities and other policy issues that may be discussed during the upcoming 2014 General Assembly Session. The meeting was positive and focused on areas where the Administration and MACo may be able to work together during the upcoming session.
The Governor’s Chief of Staff, John Griffin, commented on the projected budget shortfall for fiscal year 2015 and steps that have put in place to close it. He added that there would be no tax or fee increases to close the gap.
The Governor’s Chief Legislative Officer, Jeanne Hitchcock, stated that the Governor has interest in legislation to increase the minimum wage and possible fiscal relief for small businesses. She also commented that the Governor is interested in job creation initiatives.
The MACo Board took this meeting as an opportunity to discuss MACo’s 2014 legislative priorities. MACo’s budgetary priority for the upcoming session is transportation funding. Policy initiatives discussed include expanding targeted uses of the Bay Restoration Fund, and establishing a cooperative governance structure better enabling counties to join the State’s 700 MHz public safety communication system.
Other Administration attendees included the Lt. Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Matt Verghese; the Governor’s Executive Director of Community Initiatives and Intergovernmental Affairs Izzy Patoka; the Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Molly Byron; and staff from the Intergovernmental Affairs Office.