SCOTUS Throws Out OSHA Vaccination/Test Rules for Large Employers

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) blocked rules mandating “large” employers, including all Maryland counties, to require COVID-19 vaccinations and/or testing for all staff were unconstitutional. The January 13 decision throws out emergency temporary standards (ETS) issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in November to require employers with 100 or more employees — including all Maryland counties — to develop, implement and enforce a COVID-19 vaccination-or-testing policy.…

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General Assembly to Consider Expanding Eligible Costs for School Construction

Senate Bill 40 and House Bill 68 would clean up an arbitrary funding minimum set by the Built to Learn Act to access State funding on systemic school projects. Senators Katie Fry Hester and Guy Guzzone and Delegate Courtney Watson have pre-filed Senate Bill 40 and House Bill 68 to expand eligibility for State funds established by the Built to Learn Act. Currently, systemic school construction projects -- like repairing, replacement, or upgrading facility systems, such as…

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Harford Board of Education Looks to Tackle School Staffing Challenges in Proposed Budget, Asks for Additional Funding

On January 10, the Harford County Board of Education started deliberating its fiscal year 2023 budget, putting financial incentives for hiring and retain school staff front-and-center. The Board has proposed requesting additional county and State funds to do so. The Board has proposed an operating budget of $568.7 million for fiscal year '23, up $49.1 million or 9.5% from last year. Notably, mandatory budget increases of $46.7 million will add about 105 full-time school positions. This includes…

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Talbot Library System and Talbot Family Network Partner on Diversity Book Club

The Talbot County Free Library and Talbot Family Network have  partnered to launch an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Book Club starting this month. The new book club will feature enriching literature that highlights Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, followed by a discussion. The Book Club will take place on the 2nd Thursday of every month from January to May at 6:00 p.m. at the Talbot County Free Library Main Branch Meeting Room. The inaugural discussion will occur this…

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Following CDC, State Updates Quarantine Guidance to 5 Days for Schools, Child Care

On January 6, the State issued updated COVID-19 quarantine guidance for public school students, shortening period from 10 days to 5, in-line with CDC's new guidance. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and Maryland Department of Health (MDH) issued a new guidelines for the state's public schools and child care centers to follow regarding coronavirus quarantining. The updates come just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated national quarantine guidance.…

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Today: SCOTUS Hears Challenges to OSHA Vaccination/Test Rules for Large Employers

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear arguments today challenging the Biden administration's emergency vaccination or testing rules for large employers -- including all of Maryland's counties. Under emergency temporary standards (ETS) issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in November, “large” employers are required to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations and/or testing for all staff. The ETS require employers with 100 or more employees — including all Maryland counties — to…

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St. Mary’s Co. Chosen for SelectUSA’s EDO Diagnostic Data Program

St. Mary's County will participate in EDO Diagnostic Data Program to facilitate economic development. SelectUSA is a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Its mission is to "facilitate job-creating business investment into the United States and raise awareness of the critical role that economic development plays in the U.S. economy." The program recently launched the second year of its EDO Diagnostic Data Program, through which it provides economic development organizations (EDOs) with diagnostic data snapshots…

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Jan 12 and 24, Feb 1: “Kids Day Out” in Montgomery County

Montgomery County Recreation (MCR) has designated three upcoming days for its "Kids Day Out" program to keep children active when Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has scheduled days off. "Kids Day Out," a partnership with MCPS, provides out-of-school supervised recreation program on days that the county public schools system are closed to students. The program emphasizes health, physical fitness, imagination and fun. According to a county press release: “Kids Day Out” will offer full-day programming from 8:30 a.m. -4…

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MGA Legislative Committee Extends School Mask Mandate, Adds Off-Ramps

This morning, a joint legislative committee extended emergency regulations to continue the State's mask mandate in all of Maryland’s public schools, and approved new off-ramps for masking. The General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) Committee voted to continue the State's masking policy for public school facilities, and added new off-ramps for local education agencies (LEAs). The State Board of Education approved the set of regulations at its December 7 meeting. The committee engaged in…

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Top Issues of 2022 Session: School Construction

With the 2022 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview school construction and capital projects. In the 2021 legislative session, the General Assembly overrode Governor Larry Hogan's veto of the Blueprint for Maryland's Future, setting into motion a complete overhaul of the State's public education and how it funds and completes school construction and capital improvement projects. Built to…

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