Attention! Rural Broadband Infrastructure Funding Opportunities Available

The Governor's Office of Rural Broadband and the Department of Housing and Community Development have announced the following funding opportunities for broadband projects in unserved, rural areas. Federal Application Assistance Provides grants for soft costs related to federal funding applications The local jurisdiction is the state applicant and partners with an ISP who is, generally, the applicant for the federal funding. Applications are due by December 15, 2019. Broadband Expansion Pilot Grant Program Meant for…

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What’s in Store for 2020? Education, Leadership Changes, and More

Education funding and leadership changes where the running threads that united the outlooks from the panelists on the 2020 General Assembly Forecast. Delegate Eric Luedtke, House Majority Leader, dubbed the 2020 session as "the year of Maryland children." He discussed the first three bills that will be introduced in the House. HB 1 the Build to Learn Act which will focus on school construction; HB 2 the Blue Print for Maryland's Future the ever anticipated…

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Diversity Caucus Spotlights 2020 Census at #MACoCon

The Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus (Diversity Caucus) held its annual reception at the Winter MACo Conference. The topic of the evening was the importance of the 2020 census and accurately counting hard to reach populations. Prince George's Council Member Deni Taveras talked to attendees about how inaccurate counts -- under or over -- can have significant impacts on funding and investments of county programs for the next decade. She also discussed the steps being…

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Examining the Intricacies of Health Care in County Jails at #MACoCon

County jails house 18x more inmates a year than state and federal prisons. At the 2019 MACo Winter Conference session, “Inmate Healthcare: Sorting Fact from Fiction,"  attendees learned about the complex web of inmate healthcare and how improving the inmate health care system can decrease short- and long-term costs, reduce recidivism, and improve public safety. Tom Weber, Esquire, Chief Executive Officer for PrimeCare Medical, Inc, provided a breakdown of the top 10 myths and realities…

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Where There’s Smoke…Counties Confront Vaping at #MACoCon

Public policy concerns and public health impacts of electronic cigarette use was one of the biggest health news topics this year. The emergence of deadly vaping-related illnesses and the push to improve regulation had many on edge for what's next. At the 2019 MACo Winter Conference session, "Clearing the Air: A Closer Look at Vaping," panelists shared the latest on vaping, its public health impacts, and what is being done about it both nationally and…

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Opioid Roundtable: Build on Success and Prepare for What’s Next

At the 2019 MACo Winter Conference session, “Foundation of the Future: The County Role in Combatting the Opioid Crisis”, Steve Schuh, Executive Director of the Opioid Operational Command Center, shared updates on the opioid crisis and engaged in roundtable Q&A discussions on what counties are doing to tackle the crisis and help their communities. The roundtable was moderated by Senator Addie Eckardt and held on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. The 2019 MACo Winter Conference, “Building for…

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Counties Treating Childhood Trauma at #MACoCon

At the 2019 MACo Winter Conference session, “It Takes a Village: Building Resilience and Treating Trauma,” attendees learned about how traumatic events, especially those experienced early in life, can have long-lasting detrimental effects well into adulthood as well as the ways local governments are working to treat such trauma. Dr. Helene Felman from Kaiser Permanente provided an overview of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how chronic stress caused by such childhood trauma leads to long-term health…

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Workgroup: Adult-Use Cannabis Legislation Not Ready for Prime Time in 2020 Session

The leaders of the Maryland General Assembly's Marijuana Legalization Workgroup have indicated that they will not be endorsing legislation legalizing recreational use of marijuana for the upcoming 2020 session. Rather, the group will continue to study and work through the remaining legalization issues for a possible path forward in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reports: “I think the consensus is: We are not recommending legislation this session to legalize adult use,” said Del. Kathleen Dumais, who…

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New HIV Cases in Maryland Reach 30 Year Record Low

The Maryland Department of Health has reported that in 2018 there were 997 new cases of HIV in the state -- the lowest rate of new cases in 30 years. The Washington Post reports: He [Peter DeMartino, Director of Infectious Diseases Prevention] credited the drop in HIV infections not just to the state’s efforts to protect people from acquiring the virus — including traditional methods such as safe-sex education programs and condom distribution, and access…

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New Funding for Rape Kit Testing to Help Police Departments

Police Departments across Maryland are eligible for new state and federal funding to help process rape kits. In recent years police departments have reported a significant backlog of cases. The Baltimore Sun reports: The funds include $3.5 million that is part of a new state fund for testing, plus a portion of a $2.6 million federal grant that also will help track kits and support survivors. And Baltimore County recently received a private $300,000 grant from a…

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