December Special Session May Loom to Tackle Congressional Re-Districting

Legislative leaders are considering a December special session to redraw Maryland's eight congressional districts, based on new census data. Maryland Matters has uncorked a story informally swirling about Annapolis in recent weeks - that the General Assembly is eyeing a late-2021 special session to pass a new congressional district map. From their story: By law, the Maryland General Assembly must redraw the state’s 47 legislative districts, to reflect population shifts, while meeting in regular session.…

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State COVID Emergency: Still on Target for Mid-August Full Phase-Out

Despite some potentially confusing wording and actions, the full phase-out of the State's declared COVID emergency remains on track for August 15. In June, the Governor announced his intention to end the COVID emergency declaration, and cited a 45-day period for an orderly resumption of timetables and provisions related to the emergency itself. See coverage on Conduit Street: While Marylanders are still encouraged to get vaccinated and to maintain sensible behavior, the State of Maryland…

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MACo is Hiring! Annapolis Government Relations Professional

MACo's Policy Team is seeking a professional who can help represent and serve counties and their many front-line services across Maryland. Sound like a fit? Apply today! MACo is seeking a government relations professional to join our policy team, take a lead role on a series of policy areas, and coordinate advocacy and other projects with county leaders. Applications are due by July 30 (instructions listed below). The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) is the…

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Measuring “Tree Equity” For Downtown Areas Across MD

strong>The organization American Forests has developed a system of "Tree Equity Scores" to assess canopy and availability by downtown area -- see where your neighborhood rates. Trees are readily recognized as assets for quality of life, healthy living, and temperature moderation in downtown areas. Now, a tool is available to synthesize an area's tree cover to help benchmark this across different areas. The "Tree Equity Score" - where graphic at right from the website helps…

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Schools Also Face Challenges With Routine Non-COVID Vaccinations

With safety measures arising from the COVID pandemic, many families skipped routine medical care including children's vaccinations - what role is there for schools as students are welcomed back to the classroom? The Center of Disease Control recently issued a report about "routine vaccinations" (non-COVID) affected by behavior changes during the coronavirus response. Full report citation: Patel B, Murthy , Zell E, et al. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Administration of Selected Routine Childhood…

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Extended Jobless Benefits to Continue in MD: Court Ruling, Administration Won’t Appeal

A Maryland Judge granted an injunction stopping the Governor's proposal to end additional federal benefits for Marylanders, and recognizing the timing of further court challenges, the Administration signaled it will not pursue further legal appeals. The decisions seemingly cap off a contentious decision to curb federal extended benefits for Marylanders, that the Governor has viewed as stifling regrowth of the job market. Maryland joins Indiana among states where courts have rejected the Governor's decision in…

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Nominations Open for Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board

Applications for the newly formed Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board, built to oversee facets of the state's recently-adopted ambitious education plan. The first virtual meeting of the Nominating Committee, charged with selecting the eventual Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board, was held on July 8. Video of the meeting is available online. The Nominating Committee has opened nominations for the Board, and decided it will target September to make its eventual appointments. Interested parties may submit…

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“Women of Color In Leadership” – a Featured Speaker at #MACoCon

Senator Jill P. Carter will join a dual-sponsored luncheon at MACo's Summer Conference - reflecting on recent legislation, and the role for "Women of Color in Leadership" Two of Maryland's Chapter Organizations, the Diversity Caucus and the Women of MACo, will jointly hold a luncheon meeting on Thursday, August 19, 2021; 11:30 am – 12:30 pm at the MACo Summer Conference. The luncheon, as always, will be open to all conference attendees - not just…

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Baltimore County Latest to Okay “Drinks To Go”

The Baltimore County Liquor Board voted to extend temporary allowances for establishments to offer limited "to go" options including alcoholic beverages. In hopes that pandemic-related triggers such as the statewide emergency declaration would be lifted with improving health trends, the General Assembly this year authorized local jurisdictions to extend "to go" cocktail service beyond the limited provisions of the emergency. Baltimore County, by a vote of its liquor board, has joined the list of jurisdictions…

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Opioid Challenges Continue, Pushing States to “Outside the Box” Approaches

Rhode Island will authorize its communities to approve safe injection sites, as a novel approach to combat the public health consequences of opioid and heroin abuse. From coverage on Route Fifty, Rhode Island has passed legislation approving local governments' establishment of safe sites for drug injection, part of a harm reduction effort to combat outcomes arising from opioid crises: Rhode Island is the first state to authorize a drug injection site program meant to combat…

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