Baltimore County Announces Expanded Grants to Support Local Businesses

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced an expansion of the Commercial Revitalization Action Grant program in order to provided additional support for the County's small businesses during the pandemic. With the expansion, eligible business associations are now able to receive up to $30,000 in grant funding, rather than the traditional $10,000. This will allow business associations to increase their investment in neighborhoods during a time that many small businesses are struggling with lost revenue due…

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Maryland Board of Public Works – October 21, 2020 Agenda

Maryland’s Board of Public Works (BPW) reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies – many of which have an effect on county governments. The BPW is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot. It meets on alternating Wednesdays and the meetings are open to the public. The meeting will be held in Governor’s Reception Room on the 2nd floor of the State House in Annapolis. Note: In light of the COVID-19 epidemic,…

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Community College First-Year Enrollment Hit Hard by Pandemic

In a study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, research shows that public community college enrollment has plummeted due to the pandemic. While first year enrollment for college has dropped by 16.1%, community college enrollment numbers have dropped by 22.7% and overall community college populations shrank by 9.4%. In 2019, colleges only saw a 0.4% decrease in enrollment. From the Washington Examiner: Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, told…

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Carroll Partners with BusPatrol to Increase School Bus Safety

Carroll County Public Schools announced a new partnership with BusPatrol to equip school buses with advanced stop-arm enforcement technology. All 311 of the school system's buses will be equipped with technology including cameras and GPS tracking in order to reduce the illegal passing of school buses and make the journey to and from school safer for all students. Communities using BusPatrol's technology have experienced a 30% reduction in violations year-on-year. From the press release: Mike…

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Montgomery to Launch ‘Flash’ Bus Transit Service

Montgomery County will launch the County Department of Transportation's "Flash" buses this week that will run on a 14-mile service along Route 29 that spans from Burtonsville to Silver Spring. The Flash buses are "specially designed, 80-passenger capacity buses [that] will bypass other vehicles in certain locations and provide high quality and reliable transit service and amenities at the same price to ride as any other local bus." The Flash buses will have frequent service…

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MD Senate GOP Caucus Elects New Leadership

The Maryland Senate Republican Caucus on Saturday elected Senator Bryan Simonaire as Minority Leader and Senator Michael Hough as Minority Whip. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Senators J.B. Jennings and Stephen Hershey — the longest-serving leadership team in the history of the Senate Republican Caucus — last week announced that they would not seek re-election to their respective leadership posts. “We want to thank Senator Jennings and Hershey for their years of service to our caucus,…

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MD Unemployment Claims Soar in Past Week

According to data from the Maryland Department of Labor, unemployment insurance claims in Maryland nearly doubled last week. The Department released data stating that during the week ending October 3, there were 30,060 unemployment claims. The previous week, there were only 15,444. MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DIVISION OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE TOTAL CLAIMS FILED BY COUNTY Week Ending – OCtober 3, 2020 Claim Filed By:  Regular UI PUA (New) PUA (Reclassified)* PEUC Claims EB Claims Allegany…

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CDAC Starts Capital Debt Recommendation Process

The Capital Debt Affordability Committee held the first of three annual meetings, starting the process of recommending a level of capital debt for the State. The Capital Debt Affordability Committee (CDAC) is required to submit to the Governor and the General Assembly each year an estimate of the maximum amount of new general obligation debt that prudently may be authorized for the next fiscal year. Due to the passage of SB 85 in the 2019…

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On Election Day, County-Specific Ballot Questions Abound
ArtJane (CC0), Pixabay
On Election Day, County-Specific Ballot Questions Abound

With Election Day fast approaching, voters on November 3 will be presented with a number of ballot questions concerning county governance and structure. Here, Conduit Street provides an overview of county-specific ballot questions. Statewide Ballot Questions Two statewide ballot questions will appear in all 24 Maryland jurisdictions. The first is a proposed constitutional amendment authorizing the General Assembly, in enacting a balanced budget bill for fiscal year 2024 and each fiscal year thereafter, to increase,…

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Maryland Interagency Commission on School Construction – October 15, 2020 Agenda

Maryland's Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC) was established by the Board of Public Works to administer Maryland's Public School Construction Program and is chaired by State Superintendent of Schools, Karen Salmon. The IAC operates under the provisions of the Rules, Regulations, and Procedures for the Administration of the School Construction Program which are approved and amended by the Board of Public Works. It meets once a month and the meetings are open to the…

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