Election Officials to Voters: Ignore Inaccurate Postal Service Mailers

The State Board of Elections (SBE) yesterday said that portions of a United States Postal Service postcard sent to voters regarding vote-by-mail options are “inconsistent” with state guidelines. The postcard -- mailed nationwide last week -- tells voters to request mail ballots at least 15 days before the election. In Maryland, local boards of elections must receive a voter's request for a mail-in ballot by October 20. SBE automatically sent most eligible voters an application…

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As Deadline Approaches, Census Bureau Says It Has Counted 94% of Maryland Households

The U.S. Census Bureau today reported that 93.8% of Maryland housing units have been accounted for in the 2020 Census with 26% counted by census takers and other field data collection operations, and 65.8% of housing units responding online, by phone, or by mail. According to the data — which includes each state's housing enumeration progress through both self-response and by census takers through a process known as Nonresponse Followup —  91.8% of America's housing…

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State Announces $300 Weekly Unemployment Boost, New BEACON Website

The Maryland Department of Labor last week announced that the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program -- which offers claimants an additional $300 per week in retroactive federal benefits -- will be launched ahead of schedule. After being initially approved for three weeks of LWA funding, Maryland has now been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for three additional weeks, for a total of six weeks of $300 federal payments. Labor will also launch…

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Maryland Board of Public Works – September 23, 2020 Agenda

Maryland’s Board of Public Works (BPW) reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies – many of which have an effect on county governments. The BPW is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot. It meets on alternating Wednesdays and the meetings are open to the public. The meeting will be held in Governor’s Reception Room on the 2nd floor of the State House in Annapolis. Note: In light of the COVID-19 epidemic,…

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Carroll Holding Public Meeting on Residential Zoning Changes

The Carroll County Department of Planning is hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm regarding text changes to the county’s residential zoning code. Carroll County is holding a public meeting to provide the public with updates on the residential zoning review process. Thus far the process has included work with a citizen review focus group that has provided feedback that has shaped the draft revisions of the…

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Federal Judge: Pennsylvania’s Pandemic Restrictions Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Pittsburgh today found that orders issued by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf restricting the size of gatherings and closing non-essential businesses to guard against the spread of COVID-19 were unconstitutional. The governor’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus “were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency,” U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV wrote. “But even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered.” Courts…

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Howard Announces Second Round of Rent Relief Funding

Last Friday, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced a second round of "HoCo RISE" rental assistance funding, with an additional $800,000 in CARES Act funds to support residents struggling to pay rent because of the pandemic. Beginning on Oct. 5, Howard County residents can apply for up to three months of assistance to pay past due rent. The additional $800,000 of funding available will add to the already disbursed nearly $1.6 million granted in round…

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St. Mary’s Partners with Sierra Club to Plant Trees in County Parks

The St. Mary's County Department of Recreation and Parks, along with volunteers from the Southern Maryland Sierra Club, are joining forces to plant native trees at three County parks. A selection of ten native deciduous trees will be planted at Dorsey, 5th District, and Lancaster parks. In addition to their aesthetic value, the trees will provide a habitat for local mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. The trees will also enhance the parks by sheltering playgrounds,…

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DHCD Announces FY 2021 Application Round for State Revitalization Programs

Funding Available from Community Legacy, the Strategic Demolition Fund-Statewide and Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is announcing the Fiscal Year 2021 application round for three State Revitalization Programs –  Community Legacy, Strategic Demolition Fund – Statewide (all non-Baltimore City) and the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative. These programs offer funding to support local housing, community and economic development, and other revitalization projects. They are part of the department’s…

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Montgomery Seeks Community Input on Local Spending Priorities

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich tonight will host the first in a series of virtual budget forums aimed at providing opportunities for residents to learn about the budget process and provide input on local spending priorities. There will be a total of five regional forums on the County's Capital Budget/Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and two forums on the County's Operating Budget. “I am hopeful that our virtual format will allow more residents to participate in…

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