MACo Preemption Bill Withdrawn, Amidst Legal Questions

MACo's legislative initiative to target "implied preemption" has been withdrawn, amidst questions about whether a statutory approach to the issue could accomplish its intended goals. MACo and the LOCAL Maryland worked with Delegate Karen Lewis Young and Senator Clarence Lam to develop and introduce legislation to clarify the circumstances where the Maryland courts would find that local governments are preempted from local action. In recent years, the state courts have been inconsistent, but have sometimes…

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Tax Provision in COVID Bill May Carry State/County Revenue Losses

A provision included in the massive COVID response legislation moving through Congress offers a new tax write-off for investors, and may reduce tax bases for states (and for Maryland counties). In the high-profile CARES bill accelerated through the U.S. Senate and pending House agreement (as of this writing), a provision amidst the many stimulus offerings is a structural change to the basis for taxing investment income. From a discussion in the New York Times: Senate…

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Webinar Tomorrow: Your Authority, Resources In The Corona Crisis

A webinar hosted by the Local Solutions Support Center of the Local Solutions Support Center will focus on local government authority, and its limits, amidst the current public health crisis. The coronavirus (COVID-19) has quickly become a public health pandemic across the globe, and has put cities and states at the forefront of immediate responses needed to protect people. This has also brought many new types of legal issues, challenges, and questions for elected officials…

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The Final “Enrolled” Kirwan Blueprint Bill – Printed, and Heading to the Governor

The final version of HB 1300, the Kirwan Blueprint bill, has been published online. Visit the Maryland General Assembly website for the final bill text (coming in at a robust 235 pages), the fiscal effects of the final bill, and other information about the most-watched bill of the 2020 legislative session. See other Conduit Street coverage.

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Kirwan Blueprint Bill Heads to Governor, With a “Trigger” Provision

The Kirwan Blueprint bill for education funding, HB 1300, passed the House as expected on Tuesday night. A "trigger" mechanism added by a late amendment offered some skeptics comfort - but how does it work? The Kirwan Blueprint bill has passed the General Assembly. The House, as expected, voted to concur with the Senate-adopted changes to the bill, with a veto-proof vote. But, will that veto override be required? Maybe that comes down to one…

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Kirwan Blueprint Bill Looks “Done” After Senate Amendments, Vote

The high profile Kirwan Blueprint bill, HB 1300, appears to be in its final posture, following a late series of amendments, and an eventual bipartisan Senate vote. After three years of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, and a vigorous legislative debate stretching two sessions, the landmark education plan is nearing its final stages. A 37-9 vote in the Maryland Senate late Monday night, following an extensive set of eleventh hour amendments, appear…

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New County-by-County Numbers on Senate Kirwan Blueprint

HB 1300 is on the Senate Floor, heavily amended from the version passed in the House. Staff has released new fiscal estimates of its effect on state and county funding. The Department of Legislative Services, non-partisan staff to the General Assembly, has released an updated set of estimated state and local effects from the Senate-amended Kirwan bill, HB 1300. See the 5-page document online. Page 3 (shown above) of the document is, again, the state's…

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Session to Wrap on Wednesday, Re-convene Late May

General Assembly leaders announced their plans to abridge the legislative session on Wednesday, March 18. They formed a joint coronavirus work group, and made plans for a late session Special Session. The plan announced includes an adjournment sine die on Wednesday, meaning pending legislation not completed by that time will expire. A special session would require re-introduction of any pending issues, and a re-start of the consideration process. Legislative leaders expressed their intention to focus…

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Senate’s Kirwan Blueprint Bill: What’s In It For Counties?

The Senate if moving its own heavily-amended version of the school funding bill - here, we analyze the components of the bill that affect county governments. HB 1300 is the vehicle for the all-encompassing fiscal and policy recommendations of the Kirwan Commission, the so-called "Blueprint for Maryland's Future." The Senate committees have adopted a lengthy series of amendments to the bill, driving the bill text (in the latest "reprint" incorporating the amendment language) to around…

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MACo: Contact and Service In Weeks Ahead

MACo will remain actively working to represent, serve, and assist our member counties during the weeks ahead. MACo takes our responsibilities seriously, as an important resource for county officials across Maryland. To that end, we remain committed to serving and informing counties in the weeks ahead, through all the public and private effects of the novel coronavirus. The MACo Annapolis office will largely be closed, effective tonight (Friday March 13). Meetings scheduled for the MACo…

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