Council President Introduces Bill to Keep City Conduits Public Assets

Baltimore City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young introduced two pieces of legislation that would permanently prohibit City officials from selling the City's conduit system and strengthen penalties against entities who use the system illegally. The bill is co-sponsored by 13 of the 15 council members and if passed would put the issue in front of city voters as a charter amendment in 2020. The Baltimore Sun reports: Young believes the legislation could help taxpayers avoid…

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Capital Budget: From Parks and Playgrounds to Oysters and Old Buildings

The capital budget bill spreads limited funding across various needs through capital programs open to county government applicants.  Reading through the smattering of programs included in the State Capital Budget reminds one of the breadth of the work of the State and counties throughout Maryland. From parks and playgrounds to public safety priorities, to water quality and land preservation, county governments are working to improve Maryland, and appreciate State grant funding available to support local endeavors.…

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Conduit Street Podcast: Brinkley on Budgets, Amazon’s About-Face, Action on Airbnb, and More!

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast. You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website.  

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San Jose to Bridge Digital Divide with “Digital Inclusion Fund”

San Jose, California this week announced a $24 million grant program aimed at closing the city's digital divide. Local officials expect the "Digital Inclusion Fund" to finance the deployment of high-speed internet to an estimated 50,000 households and 95,000 residents. According to State Scoop: The fund, which Liccardo said will be the largest of its kind in the nation, will be supported through the fees the city charges wireless providers to install small cell technology on…

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Do “Green Energy” Alternatives Have a Transparency Problem?

A radio feature discusses Maryland's experience since the 1999 deregulation of electric purchasing, and finds inconsistent pricing among "cleaner" alternatives On Baltimore public radio station WYPR's regular feature The Environment In Focus, host Tom Pelton discussed Maryland's experience with de-regulated purchasing of electricity, enacted in 1999. From the website containing both the audio feed and the text of the feature: The whole point of the law was to make electricity cheaper for average folks. The…

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U.S. Employers Add 304,000 Jobs in January; Unemployment at 4%

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, and the unemployment rate edged up to 4.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The United States Department of Labor this morning released its monthly estimate of hiring, unemployment, and wages for January. The report provides a crucial snapshot of the American economy. Despite the partial federal government shutdown, a slowing global economy, and trade tensions with China, employers added 304,000 jobs in January, marking a 100th straight…

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U.S. Representative Introduces Bill to Overturn FCC Small Cell Order

California Representative Anna G. Eshoo has introduced the Accelerating Wireless Broadband Development by Empowering Local Communities Act of 2019 to overturn the FCC small cell order and restore local control in deployment of 5G. “Having served in local government for a decade on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, I understand and respect the important role that state and local governments play in protecting the welfare of their residents,” said Rep. Eshoo. “5G is essential for our country’s…

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FCC Small Cell Order Goes into Effect; Challenges Continue

On January 14th the FCC's controversial small cell order  went into effect. The order restricts local governments' authority over the deployment of small cells within the local rights of way in several ways including imposing timelines on permit approvals and caps on fees. An article from BB&K Law provides an update on the status of local government requests for a stay on the order and explains what the order going into effect means for cities and…

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Airbnb Earnings Report Reveals Economic Impacts in Maryland

Baltimore City tops the list with over 107,000 guest arrivals and nearly $15 million in host income. Airbnb recently released the company's 2018 earnings in Maryland. Statewide hosts welcomed 383,600 guest and earned nearly $57 million in supplemental income. As reported by The Dispatch: According to the report, there are currently over 6,500 Airbnb hosts in Maryland who share their residences with online vacation shoppers. The average amount of yearly supplemental income for the hosts comes…

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Wicomico Enacts New Animal Welfare Regulations

Wicomico County has announced a broad range of new animal control regulations. The sweeping changes intended to protect animal welfare, update everything from licensing requirements and tethering regulations to trap and neuter programs and adoption programs. As announced in a county news release: Provisions from the State of Maryland Animal Care and Cruelty Law A Trap, Neuter and Return Program (TNR) for community cats Tighter regulations on tethering an animal. Protection of animals in unsafe…

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