Counties Seek Equitable Compensation for State Inmate Costs

On March 4th, 2021 MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to support SB 866 Correctional Services - Payment by State - Inmate Housing Costs with amendments. This bill creates a revised framework for the State to reimburse counties for the cost of inmates sentenced by state courts serving sentences in local detention facilities. Senator Paul Corderman, the bill's sponsor, offered amendments to the bill at the hearing, suggesting that…

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MACo: Relocate Pre-Release Inmates By County Agreements

On March 4th, 2021 MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to support SB 868 Correctional Services - Inmate Release with amendments. This bill creates a system to relocate State inmates to detention facilities located in their "home" jurisdiction in the time leading up to their release date. MACo urged amendments to grant the host facility's governing body an approval over such arrangements and their details. From the MACo Testimony:…

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Leadership Spotlight: Measure What Matters – Only What Matters

This guest post is written by Tim Rahschulte, Ph.D, Chief Executive Officer, Professional Development Academy, in partnership with the NACo High Performance Leadership Academy as part of MACo’s Spotlight on Leadership series. Metrics are part of the performance management system and if not used properly, they can do as much harm as good. Join the thousands of county officials and staff nationwide who have participated in the High Performance Leadership Academy! April Cohort Starting Soon If…

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Apply Today for 2021 NACo Achievement Awards

It’s time to showcase your county’s most innovative efforts! Apply for a 2021 NACo Achievement Award (deadline March 31). A non-competitive program, the NACo Achievement Awards recognizes outstanding county government programs and services in 18 categories, covering a vast range of county responsibilities. Only county governments and state associations of counties are eligible to submit applications. There is no limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by a single entity. EARLY BIRD…

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MACo to State: Help Close the Digital Divide, Dig Once is Common Sense

On March 4, MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin testified before the House Economic Matters Committee to support HB 1328 -  Economic Development - Broadband Providers - Joint Trenching and Fee (Building Out Broadband Act of 2021). This bill is a MACo initiative, helping to close the digital divide in Maryland by enhancing incentives and creating opportunities to build out broadband across the State. From the MACo Testimony: This bill would help to close Maryland’s persistent…

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Harford Announces Partnership for Rural Broadband

Harford County yesterday announced a partnership with ThinkBig Networks, a private sector internet service provider, to bring broadband service to the County’s rural northern region over the next several years. The project timeline will depend on infrastructure construction and grant funding, which both parties are aggressively pursuing. This public/private partnership aims to bring affordable, reliable, high-speed internet service to the most unserved and underserved areas of the County. Approximately 2,500 homes in northern Harford County…

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MACo Urges County Input on Broad Tax Relief

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday submitted testimony to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in opposition to SB 870 Income Tax - Subtraction Modification - COVID-19 - Related Distribution of Retirement Income. This emergency bill creates a subtraction modification against the State and local income tax for an individual who makes a qualified COVID-19 related distribution from a retirement account. According to the bill's fiscal note, local revenues will decrease by $70.2 million in…

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MACo: Election Laws Deserve Much-Needed Reboot

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday testified in support of SB 747 - State Board of Elections - Membership, Contract Management, Ballot Drop Boxes, and Voting System Financing. This bill, sponsored by Senator Cheryl Kagan, is a MACo Legislative initiative to clarify and update election laws with an emphasis on fairness, transparency, and accountability. By clarifying and codifying the 20-year precedent that governs the funding responsibility between the State and counties for voting machines and…

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Counties Back Emergency Property Tax Relief

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson yesterday testified in support of SB 887 Property Tax Credit - Business Entities - State of Emergency before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. This bill enables local governments to grant property tax credits for businesses affected by a state of emergency. From the MACo Testimony: The swift and unprecedented shock of the COVID-19 public health crisis has wreaked havoc on the economy. As the focus shifts to restoring our state…

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MACo: Proposed Procurement Regulations To Prove Onerous

On March 3rd, 2021 MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified before the House Health and Government Operations Committee in opposition to HB 1214 Procurement- Transparency and Application to County Contracts. This bill requires all procurement contracts that use state funds be subject to a variety of additional state procurement regulations. From the MACo Testimony: HB 1214 redefines the term “unit” in state procurement law to include county government entities. This would subject county procurement contracts…

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