MACo OPEB Trust Offers Plug-and-Play Solution for Healthcare Liabilities

The MACo OPEB Investment Trust - designed to help counties put current assets to work toward long-term health care liabilities - is performing well, delivering healthy returns, and serving member needs. Trustees convened this week for a quarterly remote meeting to review its performance and management. The Board of Trustees of the MACo OPEB Investment Trust convened a quarterly meeting via WebEx on September 10. In addition to reviewing investment strategy and performance, and discussing…

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Huge Cache of Kirwan Blueprint Data Now Available

The Department of Legislative Services has posted a sizable set of data and background information relevant to the Kirwan Blueprint plan and legislation, including additional details on its fiscal effects and underlying assumptions. DLS, the nonpartisan staffing agency to the General Assembly, provides budget analyses and prepares "fiscal notes" on pending legislation, and offers professional staff support to the legislative functions. DLS staff played a major role in coordinating the fiscal estimates and information supporting…

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Legislative Leaders Announce State Park Investment Commission
State Parks
Legislative Leaders Announce State Park Investment Commission

House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson jointly announced a fast-tracked Commission to consider and bolster State Park investments. Former Governor, and onetime MACo President, Parris Glendening will preside. Today, Senate President Bill Ferguson and Speaker of the House Adrienne A. Jones announced the creation of a legislative commission to study the needs and make future recommendations to the State park system across Maryland. “Public outdoor spaces are essential to Marylanders’ emotional, mental,…

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Anne Arundel Declares Storm Emergency, Establishes Online Reporting Portal

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman has declared a local state of emergency in response to the devastating storm and has announced a new web portal to report damage. Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman declared a Local State of Emergency in response to damage caused by the remnants of Tropical Depression Ida on Wednesday, Sept. 1, leaving significant damage to commercial and residential areas of Annapolis and Edgewater. No injuries have been reported. https://twitter.com/AACoExec/status/1433216069125263360…

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Nominees Named for Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board

A special nominating committee has concluded its work, recommending nine nominees to Governor Hogan to be selected for the Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board. The Governor must select seven of the nominees to serve. A central facet of the recently-enacted Blueprint for Maryland, a 10-year plan to enhance education funding and expectations, is a new Accountability and Implementation Board to ensure that the plan moves toward its intended goals. The formal process for its creation…

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MACo’s Book Club Talks Through “Digital Body Language” at #MACoCon

MACo's Book Club - an informal gathering at each summer and winter conference - spotlighted "Digital Body Language" for a lively conversation during the Summer Conference. In recent years, MACo's summer and winter conferences have featured a different flavor of "breakout" sessions on the program - a chance for attendees to discuss a book of interest, selected by a hands-on group of regular attendees. The books are typically selected for their relevance to public sector…

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Revised Eviction Moratorium Struck Down By SCOTUS

A legal challenge has struck down the Biden Administration's most recent effort, through the CDC, to stave off tenant evictions - with a 6-3 SCOTUS ruling that legislation is needed to continue such a program. In a widely expected outcome, the United Stated Supreme Court has struck down the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent attempt to create affirmative defenses for tenants, as a measure to effectively create an "eviction moratorium." The decision…

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New Treasury Guidelines Developed to Accelerate Rental Assistance

The US Department of Treasury has announced new guidance on the Emergency Rental Assistance program - designed to accelerate deployment of these needed funds, and responding to calls from local program directors. From White House Senior Adviser and "American Rescue Coordinator" Gene Sperling via social media: https://twitter.com/genebsperling/status/1430518077100150786 Mr. Sperling and senior officials from the US Department of Treasury joined a remote call earlier this month with multiple Maryland jurisdictions' housing program directors, to discuss holdups…

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Knapp to Serve as MDE Policy Advisor for Local Government Issues

MDE Hires Les Knapp as New Local Government Policy Advisor The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has hired former MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp as a new Senior Policy Advisor for county and municipal government issues. Knapp’s primary duties include: (1) advising MDE leadership on issues affecting local government; (2) improving MDE’s communication and relationships with local governments; and (3) serving as a point-of-contact and “ombudsman” for local governments that have issues…

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St. Mary’s County Solar Task Force Submits Final Report to Commissioners

St. Mary’s County Solar Task Force Submits Final Report to Commissioners The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will review the final report and recommendations prepared by the St. Mary’s County Solar Task Force on August 17 in open session. The Task Force was formed by the Commissioners after hearing about solar development concerns from County residents. The Task Force’s final report includes 37 recommendations that address all sizes of solar projects, including small accessory use…

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