State & Local Coalition to US Senate: We Need Your Help, Soon

NACo, a "Big 7" Coalition of State and Local Government Groups, and Scores More (including MACo) Make the Case to the US Senate: We Need Help, Get a Major Relief Bill Done The letter, coming as the Congress continues to consider options for fiscal relief to business, governments, and others, outlines the essential case for federal legislation to shield state and local governments. A new fiscal year for most governments dawns tomorrow, with grave uncertainty…

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Counties: Hold Off On BPW Cuts, Until Things Are Clearer

A letter from multiple county leaders, including MACo President Sharon Green Middleton, calls for the state Board of Public Works to defer action on a number of budget cuts affecting counties - as the weeks ahead are likely to reveal more clarity on the state and county fiscal plight. With word that the Board of Public Works plans to consider a broad wave of budget cuts, including a number affecting county services, county leaders have…

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State to Counties: Ramp Up Testing, Numbers Going Public

A June 18 letter to county leaders urges each jurisdiction to strive to test 10% of its population for COVID-19 - to further promote tracking and data on the coronavirus's spread and effects. The Maryland Department of Health has issued a series of goals for additional testing, seeking to reach... "the goal of testing 10% of the population in each jurisdiction and ensuring that vulnerable populations and areas identified as potential community outbreaks are tested…

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June 24 Webinar: Gov’t Liquidity Tools for COVID Times and After

NACo Webinar: Maximizing Value on Every Public Dollar During & After COVID-19 Description: Public entities are trying to determine how to provide services to their communities amidst the economic uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.  In the wake of impeding revenue decreases and rising emergency response costs, counties will face funding challenges and must find new ways to stretch reduced tax receipts. The National Association of Counties, NACo Financial Services Corporation, and Three + One will…

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Scott, Mosby, Henry Emerge From City Primary

Following a week of vote-counting and speculation, a slate of likely new Baltimore City leadership has emerged: Brandon Scott for Mayor, Nick Mosby for Council President, and Bill Henry for Comptroller. The peculiar nature of the mostly-by-mail election eliminated the standard "election night" news cycle, with all three primary races remaining too close to formally declare for days. Official vote counts are not yet available through the State Board of Elections website, but the margins…

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House Committees To Take Up Education Amidst COVID

Two House of Delegates Committees will host a June 11 virtual meeting, to discuss education plans with a range of stakeholders. The House of Delegates Commmittees on Appropriations, and Ways and Means, have announced a joint briefing at 1pm on June 11 to discuss "Education Issues Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic." The Appropriations Committee has subject matter oversight of spending and some labor issues, while Ways and Means typically oversees education policy, operations, and curriculum.…

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MACo President Middleton Wins Re-Election Primary

MACo's 2020 President, Baltimore City Council Member Sharon Green Middleton, has apparently won in her contested primary for the Baltimore City Council District 6 seat. While the 2020 one-of-a-kind election will not be labeled as final for some time, a comfortable margin makes Sharon green Middleton the comfortable winner for Council District 6, which she has represented since 2007. Partial results, including mailed-in ballots received by Tuesday, have Middleton ahead with nearly two-thirds the total…

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Medicare Getting On Board With More Telehealth

The widespread Medicare Advantage program will feature broadened access to telehealth services, under a newly adopted rule. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a new rule, seeking to expand access to telehealth services for the many users of Medicare Advantage, effective June 1. From an article on the site HealthCareFinanceNews.com: CMS is giving MA plans more flexibility to count telehealth providers in certain specialty areas such as Dermatology, Psychiatry, Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Nephrology, Primary…

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CDC Issues “Re-Opening” Guidelines

The US Centers for Disease Control has issues a 60-page document, outlining guidelines for "re-opening" of businesses and activities amidst coronavirus concerns. The CDC document, released this week, spells out steps for schools, businesses and other facilities - both public and private - to take as they contemplate opening in the wake of virus-driven closures. Its release follows some widely reported back-and-forth about its specifics. See CNN coverage. Read the full CDC Document online.

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Governor Vetoes Kirwan, Tax, Fiscal Bills in Silent Session Cap-off

On the final day allotted for his decision regarding legislation passed by the General Assembly during its abbreviated session, Governor Hogan vetoed 37 bills, including the high profile Kirwan Blueprint school funding legislation, and others with fiscal effects. Governor Hogan, through statements and in the absence of any traditional "bill signing ceremony," revealed his decisions regarding legislation passed during the recent legislative session, itself abbreviated by coronavirus worries. The bottom line - 37 vetoed bills,…

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