Tobacco Tax Increase Would Help County Health Programs

MACo submitted written testimony today to support SB 3 - Electronic Smoking Devices, Other Tobacco Products, and Cigarettes - Taxation and Regulation. The bill increases the tobacco tax rate on cigarettes and other tobacco products and imposes a tax on electronic smoking devices. It also removes the prohibition from local governments imposing a tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products -- enabling counties to access an additional tool for use in their own anti-tobacco strategies. From…

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Rural Broadband Likely Decade-Long Effort in Worcester

A six-month broadband feasibility study conducted by CTC Technology & Energy found that bringing broadband to the approximately 6,400 homes in rural unserved areas of Worcester County could take a decade. From The Dispatch: “We recommend thinking of this as a long-term effort to chip away at the problem to make hopefully incremental but substantial progress over time and to think about this as a multi-year, possibly a decade-long effort, to partner with state, federal…

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OP-ED: Cities and Counties Embrace a Local Path Forward for 5G, Reject Preemption

In an op-ed piece in  The Daily Record's Annapolis Summit 2020 MACo and MML highlight how cities and counties across the state are providing a path forward for 5G small cells on a local level and why statewide preemption bills are not needed: Maryland’s cities and counties are 5G ready! Nearly 50 jurisdictions in Maryland have already enacted local ordinances or regulations governing small cells, and dozens more are pending. In fact, thousands of small…

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Rural Maryland Council Funds $6 Million in Grants

The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) recently hosted their day-long Summit, titled Rural Maryland Rising: Investing in Resiliency, Collaboration, and Innovation. The focus of this year's Summit was creating sustainable change. Leaders from across the state presented examples of their communities solutions to complex issues in agriculture, aquaculture and forestry, healthcare, community and economic development. The summit included breakout sessions, a preview of the 2020 General Assembly Session and a luncheon panel with Maryland cabinet secretaries…

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Maryland Adds 9,800 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Remains at 3.6%

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week released November's state jobs and unemployment data. According to the preliminary survey data, Maryland added 9,800 jobs last month. Maryland's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6 percent. Unemployment rates in November were lower in seven states, higher in five states, and stable in 38 states and the District of Columbia, according to the data. Seven states had jobless rate decreases from a year…

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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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