1000 Friends of Maryland Merges With Preservation Maryland

Land use and Smart Growth advocacy group 1000 Friends of Maryland recently merged into historic preservation group Preservation Maryland. Former 1000 Friends Executive Director Kimberly Golden Brandt will now oversee a new campaign for the combined organizations called Smart Growth Maryland. From the Preservation Maryland webpage on Smart Growth Maryland: Smart Growth Maryland is a campaign of Preservation Maryland which advocates for a more environmentally and economically sustainable future that creates opportunities for all Marylanders…

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Pry Back the Door on School Construction Funding

The Capital Debt Affordability Committee enters a discussion of State and County school facility funding as they work towards a recommendation on the State's debt levels.  The second of three meetings of the Capital Debt Affordability Committee included questions and comments from the committee's membership, which include State Treasurer Kopp, and State Budget Secretary Brinkley, and State Comptroller Franchot. The Committee heard presentations from the Department of Budget and Management and the Director of Public…

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MACo Legislative Committee Hears Update on School Safety

John Woolums, Director of Government Relations, Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE), briefed MACo’s Legislative Committee Wednesday, September 12, 2018, on school safety initiatives. SB 1265, Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018, passed the General Assembly on the final day of the 2018 legislative session and has been signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan. The legislation creates a variety of statewide standards and guidelines on school safety. Along with presenting a comprehensive overview…

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Calling All Superstars – Nominate a Program or Leader Today for MACo’s County Champion Awards

MACo invites nominations for their County Champion Award series - awards will be issued for innovative county programs and a county leader demonstrating extraordinary public service. Nominations are due October 19, 2018, and award winners will be celebrated at MACo's Winter Conference on January 2, 2019. Award nominations should be completed and submitted to the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance through the University of Maryland School of Public Policy no later than October 19,…

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2040 Transportation Plan – MDOT Wants Your Comments

The Maryland Transportation Plan (MTP) is updated every five years through extensive consultation and coordination with state, regional and local government stakeholders and outreach to Maryland’s citizens. The perspective of transportation users has been critical in shaping the development of the Draft 2040 MTP: Connecting You to Life’s Opportunities. You can now view a copy of the Draft Plan at the Maryland Transportation Plan website. The Draft 2040 MTP includes highlights of Maryland’s transportation trends, key challenges and opportunities and high-level…

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DHCD Grants Wash Co $50K for After School Programming

The Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development has granted Washington County $51,455 for after-school youth programming.  The grant, a part of the Community Development Block Grant Funds, will enable the Hagerstown YMCA to provide affordable after-school programming to families in the county. The Washington County press release reports: The Hagerstown Y believes that all kids have great potential. Our staff work hard every day to help them set and achieve personal and educational goals. With…

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City Sues Circulator Company Alleging Overbilling

Baltimore City is suing the company that operates the Charm City Circulator alleging that they have overbilled the City by $20 million. As reported by The Baltimore Sun: The city’s complaint, filed Wednesday in Baltimore Circuit Court, alleges the company billed the city for thousands of hours during which the free bus service was not operating since 2010. The city is seeking compensation for the alleged over billing. The articles explains that Transdev Services Inc.,…

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24 Hour Crisis Center Could Come to Washington County

Washington County could be home to a 24/7 mental health and substance abuse crisis center if funds from the State come through. The Herald-Mail reports: Vicki Sterling, director of behavioral health services at the Washington County Health Department, said she informally requested about $2 million annually for two years from the state to run the program. ... In addition to the crisis center, Washington County's request would include enough money to hire two more mobile crisis…

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Dr. Leana Wen Resigns from City to Take Helm of Planned Parenthood

Dr. Leana Wen has resigned from her position as Baltimore City Health Commissioner to head the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  Wen will replace Cecile Richard who decided to step down from the position earlier this year. NPR reports: Wen was an emergency room physician before she transitioned to the world of public health. She will continue to serve as Baltimore's health commissioner for one month before she departs, according to a statement from the…

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MACo Announces 2019 Legislative Initiatives

MACo to prioritize education, public health, implied preemption, and NG 9-1-1 in 2019 legislative session.  MACo's Legislative Committee voted at their September 12, 2018 meeting to adopt the Association's four priorities for the 2019 Session. These issues -- Continuing State Commitment to Education; Re-Prioritizing Public Health; Repeal "Implied" Preemption Doctrine; and Next Generation 9-1-1 Implementation -- cover a broad range of important county concerns that MACo will proactively advocate for in front of the General…

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