Governor Hogan Announces New Deputy Chief of Staff
Diane Croghan (photo courtesy of Linkedin)
Governor Hogan Announces New Deputy Chief of Staff

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of Diane Croghan to serve as deputy chief of staff in the Office of the Governor for labor, housing, education, human services, and health matters. Croghan succeeds Tiffany Robinson, who the governor recently appointed to be Maryland’s next secretary of labor. A veteran of county government, Croghan served as chief of staff to former Anne Arundel County Executive Steven R. Schuh from 2014-2018. According to a press release:…

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With Gas Tax Revenue Down, PA Considers Fee for Electric Vehicles

Unlike hybrid vehicles or gas-powered cars, electric vehicles (EV) run solely on electric power. While charging the battery may increase pollution at the power plant, total emissions associated with EVs are still typically less than those for gasoline cars—particularly if the electricity is generated from renewable energy sources like wind or solar. Almost 400,000 EVs were sold in 2018—more than any other year in the U.S. EV market. In fact, total EV sales for 2018…

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Feds Award $125M to Expand Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Maryland will receive $125 million to help rebuild the nearly 125-year-old Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore. The funding, part of the federal INFRA (Infrastructure For Rebuilding America) Grant Program, will allow the state, in partnership with CSX, to double-stack shipping containers in order to break the rail bottleneck before the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore. According to a press release: “For years, our administration has pursued funding for…

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Report: Major Wireless Carrier Has Been Overcharging Marylanders for 9-1-1 Fees

At a recent meeting of the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland, Senator Cheryl Kagan, who chairs the Commission, testified that T-Mobile – a telecommunications company which operates the third-largest wireless network in the United States – has been systematically overcharging Maryland customers for 9-1-1 fees. "The carrier T-Mobile for years has been overcharging its customers on our 911 fees,” Kagan said. " For eighteen-and-a-half years, T-Mobile has been inaccurately overcharging its customers."…

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U.S. House Approves $15 Minimum Wage

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a bill to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. The current federal minimum wage - which has not been raised since 2009 - is $7.25 per hour. The Maryland General Assembly this year passed House Bill 166/Senate Bill 280 (Chs. 10 and 11), legislation to phase in an increase in the State minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by January 1, 2025, with…

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States Sue IRS Over SALT Workaround Rule

Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York yesterday announced lawsuits challenging U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Treasury Department regulations that block attempts to circumvent the federal cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT). The 2017 federal tax overhaul capped SALT deductions at $10,000 – a move of particular import in states like Maryland. In response, some states passed legislation to allow local governments to create charitable funds to pay for local…

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New From the U.S. Census: Business Formation Statistics

The Census Bureau released the Business Formation Statistics(BFS), a new data product that tracks trends in business applications and formations at the state, regional, and national levels. According to a press release: The BFS consists of four business application series and eight business formation series. It’s unique because it relies on administrative data from the IRS, specifically the data on applications for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) via IRS Form SS-4, to determine the number of…

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Howard County Government to Roll Out Healthy Vending Machines

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball this week announced that the County has begun soliciting bids for healthy vending machines in county government buildings and facilities. This vending machine contract will adhere to the nutritional standards set by CB17-2015, an act sponsored by Ball during his tenure on the county council, “requiring that healthy food and beverage options be provided on certain county properties and for certain county programs.” According to a press release: “When I…

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U.S. House Passes Resolution to Reclassify 9-1-1 Specialists as First Responders

The United States House of Representatives yesterday passed a bipartisan resolution to recognize 9-1-1 specialists as first responders. Specifically, the provisions of the “911 Supporting Accurate Views of Emergency Services (SAVES) Act” were among the numerous amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed by a vote of 220-197. Specifically, the legislation would reclassify 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers from “Office and Administrative Support Occupations” to “Protective Service Occupations” in the Office of Management…

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