Maryland Commission on Climate Change Working Group To Meet January 21st

The Maryland Department of the Environment's Commission on Climate Change Mitigation Working Group (MCCMWG) will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, January 21. MACo members and staff are encouraged to participate. When: Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Where: Maryland Department of the Environment office; 1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230. From the Commission's website: The purpose of the MWG is to recommend regulatory, market-based and voluntary programs to reduce greenhouse gas…

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Governor’s 2021 Budget Proposal – What It Means for Counties

Governor Larry Hogan yesterday unveiled his FY 2021 budget proposal. Overall, the $47.9 billion budget proposal -- a 1.5 percent increase from the current fiscal year -- increases aid to local governments by $310.9 million over FY 2020, most of which is in the form of education, aid, which increases by $212.8 million. SDAT Cost Shift The Governor’s Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) (HB 152) revives an attempt (unsuccessful in previous years) to shift…

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General Assembly Will Again Consider Carbon Tax

The Maryland General Assembly will again consider legislation that adds a tax on greenhouse gas emissions with a goal of zero emissions by 2040. The bill sponsors say Marylanders are already paying for pollution through costs associated with damage to public health and the environment.  “Our Children’s Future Act” will be introduced by Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo and Senator Kramer during the 2020 session. This will be the third time carbon tax legislation is introduced in the…

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New Jersey Enacts SALT Cap Workaround for Small Businesses

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation Monday giving small businesses in the Garden State a workaround for the cap on state and local tax deductions (SALT) under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) -- the 2017 federal tax overhaul that capped SALT deductions at $10,000 – a move of particular import in states like Maryland. This bill permits pass-through businesses, including S corporations, limited liability corporations, and other business partnerships, to shift the…

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Maryland’s Overdose Numbers Show a Third Quarter Decline

The Opioid Operational Command Center's 2019 third-quarter report found an overall slight decline in opioid deaths. However, while some areas in the state saw declines other saw there overdose numbers increase. The bottom line is the work to battle the opioid crisis must continue. From the third-quarter report: Between January and September 2019, there were 1,574 opioid-related fatalities in Maryland. These fatalities accounted for 88.7 percent of the 1,774 total intoxication deaths in the same…

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Kirwan Senate Briefing: Revised Enrollment Will Change The Numbers

The Senate Committee overseeing education policy received a broad update on the Kirwan Commission recommendations - and a sense that the plan is still evolving. The Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs held a briefing on January 14 with Dr. William "Brit" Kirwan, chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, and the Commission's lead staffer, DLS's Rachel Hise. The briefing covered the full range of its recommendations. Watch the full…

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OOCC Releases New Opioid Action Plan

The Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) has released the 2020 Maryland Inter-Agency Opioid Coordination Plan. From the coordination plan: Opioids have presented Maryland with a dire and unprecedented crisis – a crisis that stole the lives of more than 2,000 citizens in both 2017 and 2018. The effects of opioids on our state have been far reaching, and no jurisdiction or citizen has been spared from their wrath. We are thankful that 2019 brought Maryland…

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City Launches Office of Equity on MLK Birthday

Baltimore City has re-fashioned a new Office on Equity & Civil Rights, timing the announcement on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced the establishment of a new Office of Equity in Baltimore City government. In addition to its overarching mission to carry out activities to eliminate discrimination and protect individuals' civil rights, the newly named Office of Equity & Civil Rights will also be charged with ensuring, citywide,…

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2020 MGA Session Brings New Procedures for Delivering Testimony

The 2020 Maryland General Assembly Session is underway - but for those delivering testimony, it's not business as usual. To offer testimony - written and/or oral - for a bill hearing, you must sign up by a specific deadline...that hasn't changed. Each Committee has its own policies and procedures determining those deadlines (see links at the end of this post). Those procedures used to involve numbers of copies to drop off by a specific time…

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Prince George’s, NAACP File Suit Against U.S. Census Bureau

The NAACP and Prince George's County have sued the U.S. Census Bureau on the grounds that the agency's preparations have been insufficient for the 2020 census. From WBAL: The civil rights group and Prince George’s County, a majority African American county in Maryland, filed the lawsuit last Friday in federal court in Maryland. It claims the Census Bureau wasn’t planning to put enough workers in the field and hadn’t opened up a sufficient number of…

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