MD CARES Plan: $364M, Split Between Local Health and Local Govts

The State's guidance for distribution of the federal CARES funds includes $364 million of local distributions -one half directed to local Health Departments in 19 counties, the other half to the county and municipal governments incurring new costs in combating the crisis. A letter from the Maryland Department of Budget and Management, on April 16, set forth the distribution plan for the federal CARES Act funding. Under the bill, large local jurisdictions (over 500,000 in…

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Counties to Congress: Help Needed Here, On Front Lines

County governments, through NACo and dozens of state associations, have urged Congressional leaders to find robust and equitable help directly to counties in the next relief package. The National Association of Counties submitted a letter to the Speaker and Minority Leader, expressing the urgency of front line funding to county governments in any developing aid package. MACo joined over 40 state county associations in co-signing the letter. From the NACo/MACo letter: We strongly urge Congress…

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Fast Track Process For Federal COVID Funding – Applications Due April 17

The process for the largest counties to receive an allocation of direct federal funding under the recent emergency CARES federal bill is very accelerated - an application by April 17 is required. Details are available here. The federal CARES legislation included $150 billion in new federal funding targeting state and local governments. The process for distributing those funds to jurisdictions larger than 500,000 population (in the federal bill, those counties received a carved-out allocation) is…

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Federal COVID Assistance? Here’s What We Know

A Maryland analysis of the elements of federal emergency funding has been released - with a partial picture of what to expect across multiple governments and functions. The Department of Legislative Services presented an analysis of federal COVID-19 response funding provisions, offering the most Maryland-level detail yet seen. The 5-page analysis is available on the General Assembly website. From coverage in the Baltimore Sun: The largest amount coming to Maryland will be a $2.3 billion…

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MACo Preemption Bill Withdrawn, Amidst Legal Questions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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