Top Issues of 2021 Session: Climate Change

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview potential actions surrounding climate change.  Increased sea level rise along with changing weather patterns have led Maryland to take a multifaceted approach to combatting climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on efforts, and federal actions have given environmental advocates cause for concern. Maryland's leaders will look…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: Highway User Revenues

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview the impact of COVID-19 on Highway User Revenues. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a number of significant impacts on the revenues, expenditures, and operations of State transportation systems. Reduced travel by all modes of transportation is depleting revenues, and a reduction in demand has led to reduced service levels…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: Sports Wagering

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview the road ahead for legal sports wagering in Maryland. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 found the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the federal law prohibiting states from authorizing sports wagering, to be unconstitutional. It is now up to individual states to decide if they want to…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: 5G Wireless and “Small Cell” Siting

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview the ongoing hot topic of "small cell" siting for fifth-generation (5G) wireless service - but note that the main decision-making has already taken place at the federal regulatory and judicial level. Wireless connectivity remains an important and growing part of the telecommunications infrastructure, and for relatively densely-built areas (mostly…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: Transparency

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview potential action around transparency laws. Maryland's Open Meetings Act and Public Information Act outline transparency or "sunshine" requirements for state and local government agencies. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many government actors to change the way they operated while ensuring they provide the public access to their proceedings. Public bodies…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: Broadband Connectivity for Public Schools

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview broadband connectivity for Maryland public schools. Although each public school building in Maryland has Internet access and computers for student use, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a sudden shift to remote learning and the lack of affordable, reliable internet access will undoubtedly be a hot topic in the upcoming legislative…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: Elections: Funding Fairness and County Role

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview potential reforms to the administration, procedures, and financing of elections in Maryland. Counties administer and fund elections at the local level, overseeing polling places and coordinating poll workers every two years. In order to mitigate public health and safety concerns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Larry Hogan and the…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: COVID-19 Response and Relief

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we look at the state-level responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the many effects across Maryland. 2020 was marked, globally, by the outbreak of a pandemic - a novel coronavirus that has cost thousands of lives, and has undermined normal activity for most people. With vaccines hopefully in sight, policymakers face…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we preview the state of the Chesapeake Bay. Protecting the Chesapeake Bay is almost always at the forefront of environmental policy agendas going into the General Assembly Session, and 2021 will likely be no different. Efforts to restore and preserve the Bay are shaped by a variety of factors, including federal…

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