Preview the 2020 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in 2020 – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS), the 2020 Issue Papers are an annual staple for the Annapolis policy-inclined population. They are also…

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Clean and Green: Charting Maryland’s Energy Future

A general session at MACo's upcoming Winter Conference will focus on clean energy, and all the opportunities and challenges that come with our commitment to embrace and harness it. Title: Clean and Green: Charting Maryland’s Energy Future Time: Wednesday, December 5, 9:00 - 10:15 am Description: Maryland’s energy paradigm is shifting away from reliance on fossil fuels and towards renewable (solar and wind) and zero-carbon (nuclear and hydro) power sources. This transformation will require changes…

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Prince George’s County Council Passes 5G Small Cell Bill

Prince George's County Council has adopted local regulations for small cells. It was one of the final actions the Council made before concluding its 2019 legislative year. It brings the county into the ranks of counties and cities across Maryland that have taken the action to regulate small cells locally. From a county council news release: Tuesday’s Council adoption of CB-058-2019 and CB-059-2019, submitted by the County Executive and concerning small wireless facilities in the County, now moves…

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Airbnb Loses Ballot Battle to Skirt Regulations in Jersey City

Voters in New Jersey's second-largest city this month overwhelmingly upheld new restrictions on short-term rental properties, dealing a significant blow to short-term rental companies like Airbnb and VRBO. The new regulations, initially passed by the Jersey City Council in June, were put on hold after short-term rental advocates collected enough signatures to force a referendum. The rules limit how often landlords can rent properties, forbid short-term rentals in buildings with more than four units if…

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New Technology, New Policy – The Ever-Shrinking Island of Cable Television

At this year’s MACo Winter Conference, special guests will join a live recording of the Conduit Street Podcast to discuss the ever-shrinking island of cable television. The session, “New Technology, New Policy – The Ever-Shrinking Island of Cable Television,” will focus on the county role in the telecommunications market of the 2020s. New Technology, New Policy – The Ever-Shrinking Island of Cable Television Description: Technological change continues to advance rapidly - public policy needs to…

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Sun Surveys the 5G Small Cell Battleground in Maryland

As the advancement of 5G wireless looms on the horizon the consternation over the deployment of the small cell facilities necessary for the new technology continues. The Baltimore Sun reports on the crux of the issues between the wireless industry and local governments. Some reporting from the perspective of the wireless industry: Wireless companies say that in the short term, small cell facilities will relieve congestion on the current 4G networks. And they eventually will be…

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Baltimore City Council Approves Retail Plastic Bag Ban

A Baltimore Sun article (2019-11-04) reports that the Baltimore City Council has given preliminary approval for a ban on retailers' use of plastic bags. The article notes that attempts have been made since 2006 to ban the use of plastic bags in the city, but all have failed for a varying reasons. As previously reported by Conduit Street, this particular piece of legislation had stalled over debates regarding the fee structure of other types of…

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Frederick Secures Company for Broadband Feasibility Study

Frederick County has contracted with CTC Technology and Energy to complete a countywide broadband feasibility study. The Frederick News-Post reports: According to the contract between the county and CTC, the technology consulting firm will produce a written report that addresses the following, among other areas: Current and future needs of broadband service, based on county demographics. Estimate of any possible project costs and timelines. Any current providers and where current technology exists. How much stakeholders…

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Business Is Booming in Frederick

Sixty-three percent of Frederick County businesses surveyed during this year's Business Appreciation Week said they have plans to expand, County Executive Jan Gardner announced last week. “Our businesses are booming because of Frederick County’s outstanding quality of life and our excellent workforce,” Executive Gardner said. “We have a strong and growing economy with a record 104,000 jobs. Frederick County is a great place to do business!” According to a press release: Eight-one percent of business…

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