Montgomery Council Approves Public Health Emergency Grant Program

The Montgomery County Council today approved emergency legislation to establish a new Public Health Emergency Grant Program to respond to the significant financial hardship facing many County residents and businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council's special appropriation for this program is $20 million. https://twitter.com/MC_Council_Katz/status/1245070784806125570 This program authorizes grants to local for-profit or non-profit businesses that have their principal place of business in Montgomery County and employ 100 or fewer full-time equivalent…

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FCC Unveils Plan for $200 Million COVID-19 Telehealth Program

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai yesterday announced a proposal to support telehealth amid the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. If adopted by the Commission, the program would help eligible health care providers purchase telecommunications equipment, broadband access, and devices necessary to provide remote health services. https://twitter.com/AjitPaiFCC/status/1245054104789045248 Telehealth could help slow the spread of the virus to and among health care workers and patients who are not infected. As part of the CARES Act,…

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Baltimore County Announces Emergency Fund to Support COVID-19 Response

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced the Baltimore County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which will support the County’s efforts to promote public health and support residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will be managed by the Baltimore Community Foundation, and County leadership will determine how the fund is allocated. “We know that in addition to health concerns, many residents are facing job loss, food insecurity, and other challenges during this extraordinary time, and this…

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Could Next Stimulus Bill Roll Back SALT Cap?

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today suggested the next coronavirus economic stimulus package contain a provision to retroactively lift the cap state and local tax (SALT) deductions. According to The Hill: In an interview with The New York Times, Pelosi suggested that reversing the tax law's $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction for 2018 and 2019 could be a way to provide individuals with more money. “They’d have more disposable income, which…

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SDAT Extends Business Filings Deadline to July 15

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) today announced that the 2020 deadline to submit Annual Reports and Personal Property Tax Returns will be automatically extended to July 15 as part of the Hogan administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Expiration dates for trade names and name reservations, as well as entity forfeiture dates, will also be extended to 30 days after the state of emergency is rescinded in accordance with Governor Hogan’s executive…

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Opinion: Stimulus Package Will Remain Half-Baked Unless Local Governments Get More of the Dough

President Trump this week signed a massive $2 trillion stimulus package designed to keep the economy afloat amid the deepening COVID-19 pandemic. As previously reported on Conduit Street, The bill includes $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds; $500 billion lending fund for industries, local governments, and states; $367 billion for small business loans; $130 billion for hospitals; and $1,200 checks to most Americans. The $150 billion for state and local governments is generally…

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FCC Order Aims to Bolster Rural Broadband Access Amid COVID-19 Epidemic

The Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today granted temporary spectrum access to 33 wireless internet services providers serving 330 counties in 29 states, including Maryland, in order to serve rural communities facing increased broadband demands amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary order allows these providers to use the lower 45 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for 60 days. "Like everyone else, rural Americans are facing an increased need for broadband…

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Maryland Receives Major Disaster Declaration for COVID-19 Crisis

Governor Larry Hogan announced tonight that Maryland has received a Major Disaster Declaration from the federal administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration means that Maryand is eligible to be reimbursed for the Emergency Protective Measures taken by state and local government agencies and certain non-profit groups under its Public Assistance program under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Earlier today, Maryland reported 580 confirmed cases of COVID-19—an increase of 157 new cases, which…

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