States’ Transportation Leaders: Local Partnerships are Key

Local partnerships advance statewide transportation goals, according to a panel of state DOT and local government executives, convened during the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2022 Spring Meeting. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the leading organization for state transportation and highway leaders, convened its spring conference earlier this month, and tackled many topics relating to transportation infrastructure. One message, hitting close to home for Maryland: local transportation priorities…

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SCOTUS Decision Voids Federal Limits on Self-Loans to Campaigns

A decision by the United States Supreme Court has voided a federal limit on the amount a candidate may loan to their own campaign - citing first amendment concerns, and at least raising the issue that state-level limits may similarly be stricken. In the case Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate, the Supreme Court has ruled that free expression right are unfairly impeded by a federal law limiting to $250,000 the amount that…

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Suite of Strong Cyber Bills Signed Into Law

Governor Hogan signed multiple bills advancing cybersecurity resources, defenses, and partnerships - sealing a multi-year effort to create a stronger defense and response approach for this ever-increasing threat. Hackers are increasingly targeting states and local governments with sophisticated cyberattacks. Securing government information systems is critical, as a cyber intrusion can be very disruptive, jeopardizing sensitive information, public safety, and the delivery of essential services. These bills will help lead local governments, school systems, and critical…

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Hold the Dates: May 12, 16 for Annapolis Bill Signing Ceremonies

Governor's office has announced tentative plans for bill signing ceremonies on May 12 (2pm) and May 16 (1pm) - stay tuned for lists of bills to be signed by the Governor and Legislative Leaders. The post-session process of bill signings - including a public process for stakeholders to greet and thank state policy leaders on their successes, will continue in the weeks ahead. The Governor's website indicates two scheduled dates for bill signings ahead: May…

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New Guidance for April ARPA Reports to US Treasury from NACo

NACo offers a timely update for county government officials on the Treasury's ARPA Recovery Fund Project and Expenditure (P&E) Reports, which are due April 30, 2022.  Key Takeaways for ARPA P&E Report Submission Process Treasury has stated that it is experiencing a very high volume of messages about problems that recipients are having with submitting their P&E Reports, which has caused a delay in addressing these issues. Treasury has stated that if your county has sent…

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Annapolis Hillman Garage Closing May 2 for Full Rebuild

The Hillman Garage, near the MACo headquarters in Annapolis, will close for demolition May 2, 2022, and will be unavailable for use for more than a year. According to Access Annapolis, the Hillman rebuild will take approximately 14 to 16 months to complete. Downtown Annapolis will remain open to residents and visitors. Once completed, the new Hillman garage, built on the existing footprint, will include more total parking spaces (increasing from 425 current spaces to…

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Legal Challenge to SALT Tax Write-off Limits Fails, as SCOTUS Declines Review

A multi-year, multi-state effort to legally challenge federal changes to the tax deductibility of state and local taxes on federal income tax returns has ended, with the Supreme Court's decision to decline a review of the case. Maryland, among several other states, had challenged the federal law limiting the ability of taxpayers to "write off" taxes paid to state and local governments on their state taxes. The 2017 changes limit this deduction to $10,000 and…

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Maryland Public Schools Launch Strategic Planning Survey

Maryland Public Schools launch Strategic Planning Survey - your input is welcomed! From the Maryland State Department of Education: The Maryland State Board of Education and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) are drafting a multi-year strategic plan for the future of Maryland's education system. Public schools serve to develop our future workforce and future community leaders, and it is critical that we hear from as many people as possible as we work through…

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Mayor’s “State of the City” Targets Crime, Housing Issues with Optimism

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott's first in-person "State of the City" address looked at successes and challenges, and set sights on tough issues confronting city leaders. The roughly 45-minute long address highlighted the administration’s accomplishments and plans to continue the Mayor’s commitment to shape a safer, more resilient, equitable, and accountable Baltimore that better meets the needs of its residents. The Baltimore Sun's coverage noted: “We’ve been through a lot together in the past two years,…

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What’s In the Highway User Revenues Deal?

SB 726 is on the Senate floor today, with the Budget and Taxation Committee amendments to effect the leadership's new agreement on Highway User Revenue funding back to locally maintained roads and bridges. Here are the details: It’s a four-year funding structure: funding increases in FY24, again in FY25, then again in FY26… stays there for FY27….and then slides back to the FY24 level The phase-up basically follows the same conceptual approach as the House…

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