Baltimore City Boosts Fight Against Food Insecurity by $26 Million

Baltimore City is boosting its fight against food insecurity driven by the COVID-19 pandemic with an additional $11 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, bringing the City's total ARPA commitment to $26 million. During the pandemic, food insecurity rates across the City increased from 18% to 21.7%, with 33% of children being food insecure. Similarly, SNAP participation skyrocketed, rising from 25% of Baltimore City residents to over 33% (approximately 200,000 people). Baltimore City Mayor…

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New Research: Pandemic Learning Experiences and Best Practices

A new federal report provides insight into the lived experiences of teachers and students during the COVID-19 pandemic and offers policy considerations in how to best support students' learning and development during emergencies. A newly published study from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) reporting to several congressional committees offers perspective on teaching and learning during the pandemic and provides insight for future policy decisions about virtual learning. The GAO report, released on May 17, is…

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Maryland Children Ages 5 to 11 Now Eligible for Boosters

Today, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) updated its guidance on vaccine eligibility to include COVID-19 boosters for children ages 5 to 11. The revised guidance states eligible children may only receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under an expanded Emergency Use Authorization announced earlier this week by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An eligible child should receive their booster at least five months after receiving their…

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Congressman Trone Secures $33 Million for Sixth District Community Projects

Congressman David Trone has helped secure $32,704,877 in funding for projects across Maryland's sixth congressional district, creating new jobs, delivering much-needed resources to Sixth District communities, and restoring neglected infrastructure. The Congressman requested and received funding for 15 projects in the 2023 fiscal year. He described the process for identifying project recipients across the sixth district, encompassing the westernmost portion of the state, in a press release: “As a businessman, I know how vital it is to…

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Baltimore City Aims to House 1,000 Homeless Families Through Fed Partnership

Baltimore City is partnering with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) for an initiative entitled "House America: An All-Hands-On-Deck Effort to Address the Nation’s Homelessness Crisis." House America will use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to promote a Housing First approach, immediately rehousing and creating a pipeline to build additional housing for people experiencing homelessness. For the 2022 calendar year, the City…

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State to Distribute $198 Million in Small Business Relief

Maryland was the first state to submit a State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). deployment plan to the United States Treasury Department, and was one of the first five states to be approved. Maryland will allocate up to $198 million in federal small business relief through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). That federal initiative was established by Congress in 2010 to provide loans and investments to underserved small businesses. The SSBCI received a $10…

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COVID Roundup: Maryland’s Counties Remain Committed to Protecting Residents as Cases Rise

Across the state, the Maryland Department of Health's COVID-19 Data Dashboard details a noticeable uptick in COVID-19 cases, with a 7-day positivity rate of 8.12% and 2,770 new cases reported within the last 24 hours as of the morning of May 19th. Maryland's counties have remained active in combatting any potential surges. Some specific actions taken by our counties include the following: Anne Arundel has requested residents wear masks indoors, get boosted, and receive testing…

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Montgomery’s Rent Cap Expires

On Sunday, May 15th, Montgomery County's cap on rent increases established by Council Bill #30-21E - Landlord-Tenant Relations - Restrictions During Emergencies - Extended Limitations Against Rent Increases and Late Fees expired.  Council Member Will Jawando introduced the law intended to assist struggling residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, capping rent increases throughout the county for 90 days, beginning on February 14, 2022. The law prohibited landlords from increasing rents beyond the county's voluntary rent guidelines, set…

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Extension of Education ARPA Deadline: What Counties Need to Know

The U.S. Department of Education will consider requests from local school districts for an 18-month extension on spending COVID-19 emergency funds. In a May 13 letter, the U.S. Department of Education agreed to consider applications to extend the deadline for LEAs to spend pandemic relief money provided by the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. The ARP ESSER program's goal is to help LEAs “prevent, prepare for, and respond to”…

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Talbot Wins NACo Achievement Award for County Resiliency

Talbot County has won a 2022 NACo Achievement Award in the County Resiliency category. The National Association of Counties (NACo) is pleased to announce the winners for the 2022 Achievement Awards. All winners are available in our searchable awards database, where winning programs are searchable by year, category and state dating back to 2009. Until recently, “resiliency” was a word relegated to spelling bees and college entrance exams. Few people thought about the actual meaning…

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