Kirwan Formula Workgroup: Brief Updates, But No Public Progress on Costs, Formulas

The Formula Funding workgroup meeting for September 19 was shortened to only 90 minutes, and ended with a contested decision to enter closed-door "executive session." With only two meetings left on its public calendar, the Formula Funding Workgroup constituted beneath the full Kirwan Commission, was expected to develop and discuss substantive policy options at its September 18th meeting. That expectation was reframed by a schedule change (the day before) - where the public workgroup meeting…

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Kim Coble To Take Reins for MD League of Conservation Voters

Kim Coble, a well-known leader for years with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been appointed the new Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, an influential environmental group in Maryland policy. From the League of Conservation Voters website: Kim Coble, one of Maryland’s most respected environmentalists, will be the new executive director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. She will assume her new duties on October 15th. Kim was the unanimous choice of…

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LGIT Briefing: Legislative Prayer, the First Amendment, and the Courts

The Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT), who covers many county governments in Maryland, offers legal guidance and perspective on first amendment issues, including prayers at meetings of public bodies. The LGIT Leader is an occasional series of bulletins, designed for LGIT's local government members, to serve their legal and risk management interests. The September 2019 edition focuses on invocations, prayers and other religious speech or presentations made during public meetings. At what point do they…

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EPA Finalizes “Waters of the US” Rule

The revised rule governing the "Water of the United States" definition - effectively establishing the scope of federal environmental regulations - has been published as final, to take effect in 60 days. Counties across the country had raised concerns that a 2015 proposed EPA rule would expand the scope of federal regulation far beyond navigable waterways, and potentially affecting waterways as small as agricultural drainage ditches. A 2019 proposed revision had been subject to public…

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October 22 Policy Forum on Electric Smoking Devices, Tobacco Taxes

The American Cancer Society is sponsoring an open policy forum event to discuss "vaping" and tobacco taxation - October 22 at the Anne Arundel Medical Center, Doordan Institute. You are invited to join the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network for their annual Maryland Policy Forum, a premiere event that brings together more than a hundred leaders from the business, education, government and research communities. The 2019 event will highlight raising awareness to the toll of…

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Council President Scott Unveils “Tracker” For Policy Proposals

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott unveiled a user-friendly progress tracking tool to allow residents and stakeholders to monitor the progress of numerous recent procedural and accountability proposals. Council President Brandon Scott has advanced a series of proposals to promote transparency and responsiveness in City government and Council business, and today has unveiled a one-stop "tracker" to help residents monitor the progress of each component of the plan. The tracker, hosted online as a shared…

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With Solar Siting, the Devil’s Always In the Details

A story about a proposed solar development in Culpeper County, Virginia shows the complexities that lie ahead for American communities as clean energy grows. The Washington Post profiled an interesting, and perhaps informative story of a large-scale solar development proposed, but eventually canceled, for Culpeper County, Virginia. From the Post article - which is worth a full read for the larger context and play-out: They all valued the land — thousands of rolling acres of…

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Preemption Town Hall Set For September 19th

The LOCAL Maryland coalition, along with the NAACP, are presenting a public "town meeting" on state-level preemption - mark your calendars for Thursday evening, September 19, in Prince George's County. What is #preemption and how can it hurt your health and quality of life? Join us at the Prince George's NAACP Town Hall Meeting on Sept. 19 in Lanham to learn more about preserving the right of local governments to work for your needs. Questions?…

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Like Reading? Want Inspiration? You’re In Luck At Winter #MACoCon
Hundreds of people will gather at the Hyatt, Cambridge to learn, strategize, and build partnerships. Don't miss it!
Like Reading? Want Inspiration? You’re In Luck At Winter #MACoCon

MACo's "Good Government" Book Club will launch again for December 2019. Help us pick the book, then come and join the conversation at the Winter Conference. MACo is proud to again host a "book club" conversation -- each conference a cohort of county officials agrees to read one book, with a topic relating to public service or governance. During the conference, we'll have a breakout session where those who read the book (and anyone else…

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Chesapeake Council Meets, PA “Upstream” Issues Still Linger

This week's meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, including several watershed areas states and chaired by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, brought continued focus to Pennsylvania's role in Bay pollution, and next steps in these tenuous interstate issues. The Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, created under the Chesapeake Bay Program to promote inter jurisdictional cooperation toward Bay restoration and cleanup goals, convened on September 5 for its annual meeting. The meeting was hosted in Oxon Hill,…

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