Police Reform Update: Trial Board Training Takes Shape

Following July's letter from the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission (PTSC) outlining training standards for Administrative Charging Committees (ACCs), the agency has once again issued a letter - this time focusing on training for Trial Boards. Under the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, PABs review and oversee police misconduct complaints from the public, ACCs receive completed investigatory reports of police misconduct and determine levels of discipline, and trial boards hear appeals of any recommended discipline. In…

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US Senate Mulls Onerous, Costly Financial Reporting Standards for Counties

The Financial Data Transparency Act of 2022 (S. 4295), sponsored by Senator Warner (D-VA) and Senator Crapo (R-ID), would mandate governments and nonprofits to report financial information using uniform reporting categories, or "data standards," which would likely require costly updates or extensive workarounds for county finance systems. Companion legislation (H.R. 2989), introduced by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) passed the US House of Representatives on July 14, 2022, as an amendment to…

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Feds Approve $63M to Expand EV Charging in Maryland

Last week the US Department of Transportation approved Maryland's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan, unlocking $63 million in funding.  Late last week, officials from the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) approved 34 state plans to expand the nation's network of electric vehicle (EVs) charging stations. The move will see Maryland receive $63 million through FY2026, with $9 million set to be released in FY 2022. The development of a national network of EV charging stations…

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Baltimore County Confirms Police Accountability Board Members

On Monday, September 19th, the Baltimore County Council provided near unanimous consent to County Executive Johnny Olszewski's nine nominees to the County's first-ever Police Accountability Board (PAB). As discussed in previous Conduit Street coverage, under the 2021 Police Accountability Act, each Maryland county must create several police oversight bodies, including an administrative charging committee (ACC), PAB, and trial board. PABs review and oversee police misconduct complaints from the public and ACCs receive completed investigatory reports…

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Feds Launch First State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program

The $1 billion in funding will be available over four years to help state and local governments become more resilient to cyber threats. Last week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a first-of-its-kind cybersecurity grant program specifically for state, local, and territorial (SLT) governments across the country. This State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program provides $1 billion in funding to SLT partners over four years, with $185 million available for FY22, to support SLT…

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FCC Invites States, Local Governments to Verify Revamped Broadband Maps

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week announced data specifications for state and local governments to file “bulk challenges” to broadband availability data the FCC is collecting under the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) process. Counties have an opportunity to ensure the new maps are as accurate as possible, which will result in historic investments in our nation’s broadband infrastructure and enhance connectivity for all residents. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the FCC’s new data…

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Meaghan Alegi to Head Harford’s Law Department

On Monday, September 19th, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman named Meaghan Alegi as acting director of the County’s Law Department. Ms. Alegi succeeds Melissa Lambert, who will serve as the Director of Legal Affairs for the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Ms. Lambert had led the Law Department for eight years and notably achieved a reversal on a 30-year-old rubble landfill case worth $45M. Moreover, earlier this year, she represented Harford during negotiations with the state…

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Act Fast to Qualify for IRS Penalty Relief

The deadline to qualify for IRS penalty relief for late-filed 2019 and 2020 tax returns is rapidly approaching. Taxpayers who have not yet filed their returns have until September 30 to benefit from this recently-announced penalty abatement. To help struggling taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS announced it would relieve certain taxpayers from failure-to-file penalties and information return penalties incurred on 2019 and 2020 tax returns. The IRS is also taking an additional…

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$1B in Federal Cybersecurity Grants Soon Available for Counties and Schools

The federal government will issue State and Local Cybersecurity Grants totaling $1 billion over four years for states to distribute to local governments and school systems. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin issuing the first-ever cybersecurity grant program designed for state, local and territorial governments and will distribute $1 billion directly to states over the next four years. The cybersecurity grant funding is available through the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program and was established…

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It’s National Voter Registration Day! Are You #VoteReady?

Every year, millions of Americans don't vote because they miss a registration deadline, don't update their registration, or aren't sure how to register. The tenth annual National Voter Registration Day aims to make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote. First observed in 2012, National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy. To date, over 4.7 million voters registered to vote on National Voter Registration Day. Registering to vote In Maryland…

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