2019 Legislative Session – Important Dates

The year's General Assembly session will last for 90 days, after it started at noon on Wednesday January 9. The full calendar is available online here. Major dates of interest: January 22 (14th Day) — SENATE AND HOUSE BILL REQUEST GUARANTEE DATE Legislators seeking to introduce bills are asked to place requests with bill drafter by this time to guarantee delivery in time for the chambers' introduction deadlines. Stakeholders seeking to work with supportive legislators…

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Multiple School-Year Tweaks Introduced; Fate Unclear

Several bills proposing changes to Governor Hogan's post-Labor Day school year are pending, with uncertain propsects Multiple bills have been introduced in this year's General Assembly session proposing one or more changes to the current school year parameters established by Executive Order under Governor Hogan. Under current law and its interpretation, school systems must adopt a school year beginning after labor day, and ending by June 15. See Conduit Street's September 2016 coverage of the…

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Senate Sets Informal “Quarter Million Dollar” Review Threshold

Senate President Miller indicated any legislation with a $250,000 fiscal impact would need review by the Budget and Taxation Committee As the annual fiscal plan - including the budget bill itself, but also any other legislation with fiscal effects - comes together, the Senate has set a standard for informal review by its lead fiscal committee. From the floor of the Senate on Thursday, the Senate president offered this view: ...some of these bills cost…

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Chesapeake Bay Gets Its Annual “Fiscal” Checkup

A far-reaching legislative analysis reviews both fiscal and policy issues related to the Chesapeake Bay Each year, among its many agency-by-agency budget analyses, the Department of Legislative Services has presented a review of the Chesapeake Bay. Bay programs stretch across multiple agencies, as well as local governments, and the report is a tidy spot for deep information on the status of Bay programs - both monetary- and results-oriented. The federally-mandated Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)…

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Are Maryland Kids Ready for Kindergarten?

The "Readiness Matters" Report shows under than half of Maryland children are ready for kindergarten at entry age An annual report on student readiness for kindergarten shows sobering results for Maryland - where just under half of kindergarten-aged children reach that classroom "ready." A summary of the statewide data, from the "Ready at Five" website: Maryland's Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) is a developmentally appropriate observational and assessment tool administered to kindergarteners in the fall of…

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Haddaway-Riccio Tapped To Lead DNR

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, a senior Hogan aide, has been named the new Secretary for Natural Resources A very familiar face to county leaders, Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio will now lead the Department of Natural Resources. The advancement comes from her prior role as Deputy Chief of Staff under Governor Hogan. She had previously served as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations, and had continued in a high-visibility role with local governments even as she advanced within the Administration. She…

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County Leaders: End The Fed Shutdown

Several county leaders called for an end to the federal shutdown, citing undue burdens on workers and the local economy. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman each shared their views at an Annapolis press event, citing the costs and suffering arising from the partial federal government shutdown, now carrying on for several weeks. From…

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Want The County “Whirlwind” in 15 Minutes?

MACo's presentation before a legislative committee highlighted the role of counties, how MACo works, and our top policy priorities Early in the legislative session, the House and Senate Committees typically engage with state agencies and stakeholder groups for issue briefings, to help set the stage for the policy deliberations ahead. In the first year of a political term, doubly so. Thus, the House Committee on Environment and Transportation asked MACo and MML to offer an…

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General Assembly Website Training – January 28

Maryland General Assembly staff will conduct a training for users of their website and system, in Annapolis on January 28. From the Maryland General Assembly website: Public Notice: Information Systems will provide training to all interested parties on the use of the Maryland General Assembly website, to include the use and printing of the online Hearing Schedule and Tracking Items of Interest. This training will be held in the Joint Hearing Room in the Legislative…

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New Jersey’s $15 Minimum Wage Now Looking Likely

An apparent political deal among policy leaders in New Jersey has one of Maryland's near-neighbors likely to phase in a $15 minimum wage. The New York Times reports that Governor Philip Murphy (D) and legislative leaders have worked out differences on varying proposals for an increase to a statewide minimum wage of $15. From their article: The agreement, which would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024, would place New Jersey among the most…

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