Top Issues of 2021 Session: Climate Change

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview potential actions surrounding climate change.  Increased sea level rise along with changing weather patterns have led Maryland to take a multifaceted approach to combatting climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on efforts, and federal actions have given environmental advocates cause for concern. Maryland's leaders will look…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: Transparency

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview potential action around transparency laws. Maryland's Open Meetings Act and Public Information Act outline transparency or "sunshine" requirements for state and local government agencies. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many government actors to change the way they operated while ensuring they provide the public access to their proceedings. Public bodies…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview the state of the Chesapeake Bay. Protecting the Chesapeake Bay is almost always at the forefront of environmental policy agendas going into the General Assembly Session, and 2021 will likely be no different. Efforts to restore and preserve the Bay are shaped by a variety of factors, including federal…

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Maryland Declines to Join Regional Transportation and Climate Initiative

Earlier this week, the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States issued its Memorandum of Understanding with only four signatures. While Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and D.C. decided to push ahead, eight states including Maryland opted to put signing the MOU on hold. In a statement, all 12 jurisdictions that have been involved in discussions around TCI said they would continue to collaborate, which will likely lead to more signing on…

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Mayor Scott Establishes New Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement

Today, Mayor Brandon Scott announced the creation of a new office designed to coordinate city agencies and community partners in the fight against violence in Baltimore. The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) will create cross-agency goals that engage law enforcement agencies such as the Baltimore Police Department and the State's Attorney's Office, in addition to city agencies such as the Health Department and Recreation and Parks. MONSE will be taking a more…

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Hance Chosen to Lead Calvert Commissioners

Earl F. "Buddy" Hance will serve as President of the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) for the coming year. The position typically rotates every year, but Commissioner Tim Hutchins nominated Commissioner Kelly McConkey for a six month extension as President of the Board, citing his leadership during the pandemic. In the end it was decided that the commissioners would maintain the yearly cycle, electing Hance to take the reigns as President, and Commissioner…

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Rothstein, Weaver to Lead Carroll Commissioners

Today, Carroll County Board of Commissioners President Steve Wantz presided over his last meeting leading the body. The Commissioners announced earlier this week that Commissioner Edward Rothstein will serve as president beginning January 4, 2021, and Commissioner Richard Weaver will be vice president. In its last meeting of 2020 the Commissioners took some time to reflect. "It has been an incredibly challenging and hectic year. It has been an honor and a privilege, and I…

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Montgomery Converting Landfill to Solar Energy

Montgomery County announced this week that it will turn part of a former landfill into clean energy for low-to-moderate income households and County government. Through a partnership with Ameresco, 16 acres of County-owned land at the former Oaks Landfill will be used for three community solar arrays totaling 6 megawatts. One array will provide energy to the County at no upfront cost, while the other two will generate power for low-to-moderate income households at a…

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Maryland Achieves Top Ten Ranking for Energy Efficiency

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has ranked Maryland sixth in the nation for energy efficiency, placing the state in the top ten for the tenth year in a row.  ACEE's State Energy Efficiency Scorecard tracks individual policies and reviews states using 32 metrics. States are then awarded points based on their efforts to reduce energy use, such as vehicle rules or energy-saving goals. Maryland received 34.5 out of a possible 50 points…

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Charles Approves Resilience Authority

The Board of Charles County Commissioners has approved legislation to establish a resilience authority.  The Commissioners voted this week to approve the creation of a resilience authority after a successful public hearing last week. Legislation passed during the 2020 General Assembly Session with MACo’s support that enables local governments to form resilience authorities to aid in the financing of resilience infrastructure projects. As many communities across the State struggle with the impacts of sea level…

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