DHCD Announces Application Round for State Revitalization Programs

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has announced the FY 2020 application round for six State Revitalization Programs: Project C.O.R.E Community Legacy Strategic Demolition Fund - Statewide (all non-Baltimore City) National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative SEED: Community Development Anchor Institution Program. These programs offer funding to support various types of revitalization projects, such as housing, small business attraction and retention, arts and entertainment facilities, green spaces, etc.…

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Congressional Members Form Black Maternal Health Caucus

As reported on The Hill, Representatives Lauren Underwood from Illinois and Alma Adams from North Carolina have formed the Black Maternal Health Caucus. The goals are to bring awareness and action to the issue of the high number of black women who die due to pregnancy-related causes in the U.S.: The U.S. has a higher rate of maternal deaths than any other developed country, with 26.4 deaths per 100,000 births. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 60 percent of these…

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Carroll County Retains Law Firm to Pursue Opioid Litigation

Carroll County joins the rank of others in Maryland and across the nation pursuing litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors. The County Commissioners voted unanimously to retain a law firm to file an action in state court. As reported by The Baltimore Sun: “We are in an absolute crisis. To me, this is the national emergency that we have to deal with,” said Commissioner Ed Rothstein, R-District 5. County Attorney Timothy Burke, who’s been directed…

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Massage Parlor Regulation Bill on Way to Passage

SB 554, a bill sponsored by Senator Paul Pinsky, has passed third reading in the House and is on its way to passage.  The bill grants counties with some authority to regulate massage establishments. MACo supported the bill as it would allow counties in conjunction with the State Board of Massage Therapy Examiners to enact local laws to address unscrupulous massage establishments that create unsafe environments for patrons, employees, and the communities in which they…

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Bill to Strengthen PDMP Passes Both Chambers

A bill that would strengthen the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) has passed both chambers and now awaits the Governor's signature. HB 25/SB 195 was sponsored by Delegate Erek Barron and Senator Delores Kelley. The bill, with some amendments, crossed the finish line this session after stalling in conference committee last session. The PDMP was created to identify, deter, and report prescription drug abuse and diversion. MACo supported the bill as it would bolster…

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NACo Releases Affordable Housing Toolkit

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has released an Affordable Housing Toolkit for counties. In 2016, over ONE-THIRD of all households were overburdened by housing costs. This phenomenon does not exist solely in large counties; rather, medium-sized and small counties in every region of the country are also struggling with unaffordable housing costs. Fortunately, each county is uniquely equipped with its own set of tools to help residents find housing they can afford. NACo's Affordable Housing Toolkit…

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China Bans All Fentanyl Variants to Help Stem Tide of Drugs to the U.S.

As of May 1, 2019, China will ban all variants of fentanyl. U.S. officials have been pressing for this broad ban as it would restrict a major supply source of these drugs to the U.S. They note the nation has been gripped by an opioid crisis fueled in part by exploited loopholes in Chinese law. As reported by The Washington Post: For years, China’s vast chemical and pharmaceutical industry exploited loopholes in Chinese law to…

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MD Complete Count Committee Commences; Census Grants Awarded

Exactly one year to the day from the 2020 Census the first meeting of the 2020 Maryland Complete Count Committee (CCC) was held. The meeting kicked off with a presentation and training from the U.S. Census Bureau on the importance of the census, the need to get the message out so that every Marylander is counted, and the gameplan for getting it all done over the course of this next year. A lot of resources…

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Hogan Appoints J. Michael Zeigler to Serve as Acting DPSCS Secretary

Governor Larry Hogan has appointed J. Michael Zeigler to replace Stephen T. Moyer as the acting secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS). The Baltimore Sun reports: A Maryland State Police veteran of 28 years, Zeigler served as the executive director of the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions in 2015, and was appointed in January 2016as deputy secretary of operations for the corrections department. “It’s an honor,” Zeigler said of his…

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Howard County Ranked 10th Healthiest Community in the Nation by U.S. News

The results are in: Howard County is the 10th healthiest in the nation as ranked by the U.S. News and World Reports in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation, a MACo Gold Corporate Partner, -- a jump of 10 spots from where the county ranked in 2018. As announced by U.S News and World Reports: The second annual [Healthiest Communities] report and accompanying analysis are based on an evaluation of nearly 3,000 communities nationwide across 81…

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