Escalated Education Funding Requirements, Draft Blueprint Dollar Distributions, and Many More Charts

Revised draft data finds that half of Maryland’s counties may be mandated to increase their per-pupil funding for K-12 education under a state law enacted in 2012. This revised draft State Aid document also includes the DLS-prepared county-by-county distribution projections for the Kirwan blueprint bill passed by the General Assembly. The education escalator, a device that mandates increases in county funding for local school systems, will require twelve counties in Maryland to increase their per-pupil…

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Preemption, PIA, and “Green Amendment” Hot Topics for Maryland Government Attorneys

The State and Local Government Section of the Maryland State Bar Association met to discuss the 2019 General Assembly Session and legislation of interest in their practice area. At a regular meeting of the Maryland State Bar Association's section for State and local government attorneys, the group heard a review of the 2019 Session from Delegates Marc Korman and Trent Kittleman, MACo's Research Director Robin Clark Eilenberg, the Maryland Municipal League's Government Relations Manager Bill…

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Law Lifts Cap on Howard County Developer Fees to Support School Construction Costs

Legislation introduced by the Howard County Delegation and passed by the General Assembly in their 2019 Session authorizes the Howard County Council to raise the County's school facilities surcharge. Under a new law passed by the General Assembly, Beginning in fiscal 2020, the Howard County school facilities surcharge imposed on residential new construction is an amount equal to or greater than the amount imposed by the county council on June 30, 2019, per square foot…

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Learn About Leadership at Risk Managers’ Lunch

Maryland's Public Risk Management Association hosts a seminar featuring a speaker on leadership with lessons applicable to county government managers and supervisors in all departments. The Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) is a non-profit association offering risk management educational programs, management information and publications to people involved with public sector risk management across the United States. Maryland PRIMA holds three meetings a year at various locations throughout the state. Michael G. Fann, Director of Loss…

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Counties Can Plug into Grant for Rural Broadband

Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural parts of the country last year. The grant/loan program opens soon and accepts county applications. Some rural areas in Maryland and nationwide are underserved with regard to their internet connectivity. Gaps in the "last mile" between high-speed internet and rural homes and businesses pose challenges in linking up with faster service. Internet connectivity, once a luxury, is now in many ways…

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The Conversation on State Pension Funding and Policy Continues

There is a continuing public discourse regarding Maryland's public pension system. About half of Maryland's counties participate in Maryland's public pension system, meaning county employers are members of the System and county governments provide the System with contributions for those employees. Since 2012, all Maryland counties also share in the funding responsibility for Maryland's teacher pensions, one of the plans within the Maryland public pension system. This article excerpts from letters to the editor published…

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What’s Next for County Employers?

The Maryland Association of County Human Resources Officers gather for a debrief of the 2019 General Assembly Session, to advance best practices in workers' compensation, and improve comparative salary and benefits data. The Maryland Association of Counties has thirteen professional affiliates that contribute to professional education, legislative advocacy, and programs and services offered by Maryland Counties' statewide association. The Maryland Association of Human Resources Officers contribute to MACo conference session topics, provide insight into the…

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Substantial School Construction Funding Left to Governor’s Discretion

Coupled with planned actions in the capital budget bill, the General Assembly's budget plan dedicates almost $500 million to school construction. $127 million of that funding, however, is pulled from other dedicated purposes, and is thus left to the Governor's discretion. Here is a breakdown in round numbers of the General Assembly's FY 2020 school construction budget: $252 million - Public School Construction Program $90 million - Public School Construction Program from Rainy Day Fund…

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Preparedness Grants Provide Opportunities for States, Counties, Urban Areas, Ports, and Transit

DHS announces 2019 funding totaling $1.7 billion nationwide for fiscal year 2019 preparedness grants. From the Department of Homeland Security: Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary David P. Pekoske today announced the release of Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Notices of Funding Opportunity for eight DHS preparedness grant programs totaling more than $1.7 billion. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well…

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2019 Session: Recap and Wrap-Ups

The General Assembly's 2019 Session has come to a close and it's time to take stock of wins and losses for Maryland's county governments. As usual, MACo's advocacy led to more positive outcomes for its members. Bills that we supported had a greater likelihood of passage, while bills we opposed had a larger tendency to fail. MACo also helped improve many pieces of legislation through articulating county positions in amendments and will continue to work…

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