City Council To Take Up Ethics Reforms

The Baltimore City Council will consider multiple possible changes to its ethics laws, including potential charter amendments. The Baltimore City Council is expected to receive and consider a range of ethics reform proposals, ranging from additional financial disclosures for City officials and employees, to altering the structure of the City Ethics Board. From coverage in the Baltimore Sun: The first round of legislation, sponsored by Councilman Ryan Dorsey, will be introduced at Monday evening’s council…

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St. Mary’s Appoints New Communications Director

The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County today announced the appointment of Alisa Casas as Communications Director. According to a press release: Ms. Casas comes to St. Mary’s County Government from MAG Aerospace, formerly Ausley Associates Inc., where she was employed as an Export Compliance Analyst and Associate Director of Communications for the F/A-18 program at NAVAIR. “We are pleased to appoint Ms. Casas as our next Communications Director,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “Ms. Casas…

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Major Issues & More–90 Day Report Reviews the 2019 Legislative Session

The Department of Legislative Services annual synopsis of the General Assembly’s time in Annapolis provides an update on the budget, education, transportation, and health issues addressed in laws that passed – and didn’t pass – in the 2019 Session.  As described the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, the 90 Day Report is divided into 12 parts, each discussing a major policy area. Each part contains a discussion of the majority of bills passed in that policy area,…

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DLS Releases Final FY20 Two-Year Charts Detailing State Aid

Wondering what’s in the State’s fiscal 2020 operating budget for your county? The Department of Legislative Services (DLS) has crunched the numbers for you – and even compares them to fiscal 2019. Find the latest two State Aid reports here: Two-year Charts by Governmental Entity (Summarizes all counties on one-page) Two-year Charts by Program (Detailed listing of State aid programs – two page summary for each county) Allegany Anne Arundel Baltimore City Baltimore County Calvert Caroline Carroll…

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City Anti-Human Trafficking Bill Signed into Law

Ex-Officio Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young has signed into law a bill to require hotel employees to have awareness, education, and training on human trafficking. The bill was championed by City Council Member Kristerfer Burnett and was developed in partnership with the Baltimore City Police Department, the hotel industry, and the Baltimore City Human Trafficking Collaborative. This morning I signed the Human Trafficking Training Bill which requires hotels to train their employees on signs of…

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Howard County Leads State in Population Growth in Recent Years

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's annual population estimates, Howard County saw the greatest increase in population growth in the state over the past eight years. From The Howard County Times: Howard data revealed the county had a 12.6% population change between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2018. The number of residents rose from an estimated 287,085 to approximately 323,196 living in Howard. However, for the time frame between July 1, 2017, to July…

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Counties Struggle With Stormwater Treatment Requirements

A Bay Journal article (2019-04-01) provided an in-depth analysis of the struggles county governments face in addressing pollution caused by stormwater runoff. All counties must achieve some level of stormwater runoff reduction under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load and many counties, particularly urban jurisdictions, must achieve specific goals under their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits. The MS4 permits require the retrofitting of existing impervious surface and stormwater treatment facilities with green infrastructure that…

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Treasury Releases Notice of New Opportunity Zone Regulations

The U.S. Department of Treasury has released notice of new regulations for Opportunity Zones. Route Fifty reports: The economic development initiative has been in a lengthy ramp-up phase since it was created as part of the 2017 federal tax overhaul. Treasury released an initial set of draft rules last fall that were seen as a big step forward, but left significant issues unaddressed. The article notes the proposed new regulations appear to help open up the flow of…

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Have Questions About Forests or Trees? Get Answers at MDP’s New Forest Planning Resource Webpage

A Maryland Planning Blog article (2019-04-10) highlighted the Maryland Department of Planning's (MDP's) new Forest Planning Resource webpage, which provides useful tools and information about designating protected forest lands, establishing urban tree canopies, and protecting trees during the development process. The webpage was developed by MDP, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Sustainable Forestry Council based on requirements in the Forest Preservation Act of 2013 (HB 706). That legislation required the State provide…

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Hundreds of Bills Signed Into Law, In First of Four Ceremonies

The first major post-session bill signing ceremony saw 195 far-reaching bills signed into law. Governor Hogan, Senate President Miller, and House Speaker Pro Tempore Adrienne Jones (pictured above, left to right) presided over the bill signing. Governance reforms of the University of Maryland Medical Systems, expanded penalties for cyber bullying, and enabling a Johns Hopkins police department were among the most-watched items on the early signing list. The full list of legislation signed on April…

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