State Releases $22 Million For Chesapeake Bay Restoration Projects
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State Releases $22 Million For Chesapeake Bay Restoration Projects

FY22 Grants from the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund Supports 123 Unique Sites The State of Maryland announced the awarding of $22 million to 25 ecological restoration projects that will improve water quality and habitat in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, while building local resilience to climate impacts. These awards encompass 123 unique sites that will be restored using best management practices, including riparian buffer and reforestation plantings, stream restoration, stormwater management, and wetland…

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City Transportation’s ADA Safety Review, Plan Open for Comments

Baltimore City's assessment for disabled access for transportation facilities and pedestrian safety is available for public comment through July 28. In fulfillment of implementing regulations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) has completed its ADA Self-Assessment for Baltimore City. The self-assessment evaluated sidewalks and curb ramps to identify locations where current ADA standards are not met. At completion of the self-evaluation, the BCDOT will create…

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States Moving Toward Accepting Purdue Pharma’s Bankruptcy

Purdue Pharma, the largest player in ongoing litigation over opioid manufacturer lawsuits, has proposed a complex bankruptcy - many states (but not yet including Maryland) have withdrawn initial opposition to the plan. States across the country have sued opioid manufacturers and distributors, seeking offsets for the massive social and fiscal costs from the widespread addiction problems arising from their overuse and misuse. One major element of this still-unfolding story is the planned bankruptcy of Purdue…

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School Construction Work Group Kicks Off

A new Workgroup on the Assessment and Funding of School Facilities convened its first meeting today, reviewing recent efforts and discussing its charge and 2021 schedule. SB 551 passed during the late stages of the 2021 legislative session, among other things creating the Workgroup on the Assessment and Funding of School Facilities, tasked with evaluating multiple components of school construction projects and conditions by the end of this year. For more background on the Workgroup…

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Feds Sign Off on Last Wave of ESSR School Funds

The final installment of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), have been approved and distributed nationwide. The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSR) funding was a major component of the federal rescue legislation, and its delivery marks federal approval of a wave of state and local plans for its deployment. Details on the program, its allocation, and distribution, are available on the US Department of…

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MD’s Planned Fed Unemployment Cutoff Faces Lawsuits, Uncertainty

Governor Hogan's decision to stop Maryland's participation in federal supplements to unemployment benefits faces lawsuits to stop his decision, with the planned cutoff date fast approaching. Last month, Governor Hogan announced his intention to suspend Marylanders' receipt of federally-supported unemployment benefit add-on payments - citing concerns that the additional payments contributed to employers' difficulty in hiring and re-hiring. That decision has come under fire, with employee groups filing suit to compel the State to continue…

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July 1 Marks End of State-Declared COVID Emergency

While Marylanders are still encouraged to get vaccinated and to maintain sensible behavior, the State of Maryland has lifted its emergency declaration, and is amidst phasing out temporary provisions under the emergency. In general, state-established provisions and deadline extensions are being eliminated along with the July 1 rescinding of the State of Emergency. Residents are advised to check directly with any State agency to determine what, if any, special provisions still are in effect and…

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Tracking Tool for Each State’s Coronavirus Relief Efforts

The National Conference of State Legislatures hosts an online portal to show each state's efforts to direct federal funds to combat, and recover from, the coronavirus pandemic. President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Act, the latest federal stimulus bill to aid public health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic on March 11. The plan included $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local and territorial and tribal governments, known…

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Should School Superintendents Be Elected?

Two Maryland Delegates are "starting a conversation" about the role of county Superintendent of Schools - suggesting the role should be elected, rather than appointed. Two Delegates representing districts north of Baltimore are discussing potential statewide legislation to establish the Superintendent of Schools position for each county become an elected, rather than appointed position. From coverage on the Fox 45 website: “We know what the County Executive’s platform is, we know what the Sheriff’s platform…

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Howard To Direct Some Emergency Calls to Mental Health Services, Not Police

Howard County is the latest jurisdiction to adopt a new first-tier option for emergency response, plugging in mental health services among the responses available through the 9-1-1 call center when more appropriate than police. https://youtu.be/2XLXsqxR8nI Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the Howard County Police Department (HCPD) and Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center will partner to defer non-emergency mental health 911 calls to counselors. The new program, known as “Communications Initiated Referral to Crisis” (CIRC), begins July 1, 2021 and allows dispatchers to divert qualifying…

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