County Capital Projects Advance According to State School Construction Staff’s Recommendation

The Interagency Commission on School Construction approved the recommendations for 75% of the State's fiscal year 2020 funding at their December 13 meeting in Baltimore. The Interagency Commission on School Construction heard presentations from county governments regarding their fiscal year 2020 capital requests for the first time yesterday. Previously, these presentations were made to the Board of Public Works as the body allocating the funding. According to the agenda, the State Public School Construction Capital…

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Drone Gathering Abuzz with Interest

A symposium held by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council draws a crowd of more than 200 county and state government, and private sector representatives.    The Baltimore Metropolitan Council hosted an all-day information exchange for county governments interested in learning more about drone technology and collaborating to implement drone solutions last week. State and county representatives, including GIS personnel and transportation officials packed into a hall in Columbia, Maryland to hear the information and share ideas.…

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Local Aid Percentages Still Undecided in Quirky Year for School Construction

The State has yet to commit to its share of school construction projects for fiscal year 2020, even though deadlines have passed for local governments to submit projects for funding consideration. This year marks a transition in school construction funding - from a system where the Governor, Comptroller, and Treasurer, as the panel that makes up the Board of Public Works, granted funding for public school construction projects - to a new process that empowers the…

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Guideposts for the Road to County Leadership
Shelley Heller, Kent County Administrator
Guideposts for the Road to County Leadership

MACo's Winter Conference features insight into the role of county governments for newly elected officials, including funding responsibilities and jurisdictional limits. Newly elected county government officials enrolled in MACo's Winter Conference Orientation will hear a special session dedicated to local government structure, led by senior staff from Calvert and Kent counties. In Local Government Structure, attendees will hear the inside scoop on how things work in Maryland counties. Shelley Heller, Kent County Administrator, and Wilson…

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Q&A with Pensions Expert Linda Herman

Linda, welcome and good to speak with you today. We are so happy that you could take the time for this exchange. You wear two hats with regard to pensions - you are a county pension plan executive and you are a representative of county governments on the State Pension Board. You have presented on topics in pensions at MACo’s Conferences and before the MACo Board and Legislative Committee. It is good to have you…

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High Marks for Fiscal Notes by Maryland’s Legislative Services Dept

An article in Governing magazine lauds Maryland's Department of Legislative Services for providing thorough and timely assessments of legislation's fiscal effects. Maryland's Department of Legislative Services, as described by its Executive Director Victoria Gruber, supports the members of the Maryland General Assembly and its committees in many capacities - including legal, fiscal, committee, research, reference, auditing, administrative, and technological support. One of the roles of the Department of Legislative Services providing a fiscal and policy note on…

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Maryland Counties Receive Millions in VA Benefits

Thirteen Maryland counties were among the 664 counties nationwide that each received more than $50 million in VA benefits in 2017 within their jurisdictions.  A majority of Maryland counties received more than $50 million in VA benefits, according to the National Association of Counties Analysis of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Data from 2017. Almost all Maryland counties received more than average amounts of VA benefits in 2017 compared to other counties in the US. Here…

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National Economy Chugs Along, More Jobs Added in November

The additional of 155,000 new jobs shows continued economic progress, but falls below estimates.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released job statistics from November this morning, stating, Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in November, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing. See the full press release from the Bureau…

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Get Your Head In the Cloud at #MACoCon

Two private sector experts in cloud-based technology join a panel on tech issues driving county government change at MACo's Winter Conference. Maryland's Association of County Information Technology Officers are sponsoring a session at the upcoming MACo Conference on how it developments are driving policy change in county government. The session will include a presenters from county governments describing the effects of developments like 5G, broadband, and cyber threats on county practices. The panel will also…

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Automation, AI, and the Tech of the Future

A free conference on re-skilling, automating, and hiring for the future federal workforce may have insight for state and county employers, too. A conference offered by GovExec, with options for online viewing, will touch on various issues in workforce development and technology applicable to all levels of government. In sessions beginning at 8:50 am on Thursday, December 6, panelists from various federal agencies will discuss topics including: Reskilling and Hiring for the Future Federal Workforce;…

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