Baltimore Co. to Use Surplus, COVID Funds for School Staff Pay Increases

Baltimore County will leverage federal COVID relief funds plus a county budget surplus to provide public school staff with a series of pay enhancements. Baltimore County Executive Johhny Olszewski and Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) recently announced a new enhanced compensation package for the more than 20,000 public school system employees. In total, the County will invest $76 million in the enhanced one-year compensation package. County Executive Olszewski and the Baltimore County Council approved a BCPS…

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Baltimore Gets Creative to Entice Chronically Absent Students to Return

Baltimore City Public Schools have launched a phone banking program in an attempt to connect with and entice chronically absent students to return the the classroom. The Super Outreach Sunday phone bank program was recently launched by Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) in a push by the school system to connect with students who have already had 10 or more unexcused absences or have yet to attend school since the start of the 2022-23 school year four…

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eMaryland Marketplace Helps Counties Simplify Procurement

The Maryland Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement's e-procurement system and specialized website features state-of-the-art procurement technology and simplifies county procurement to save time and money. In 2019, the Department of General Services (DGS) partnered with Nitor, a procurement services firm focused on spend management, to implement the state's new e-procurement system, eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA). Now fully implemented, eMMA allows buyers to collaborate with vendors from the bidding and contracting process all the…

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Carroll Earns Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting

Carroll County earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. The Certificate of Achievement, which recognizes the County’s comprehensive annual financial report for fiscal 2021, is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. This is the County’s 37th consecutive award and demonstrates its commitment to transparency. The GFOA, founded in 1906, represents public finance officials throughout…

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White House Breaks Down Inflation Reduction Act’s Impact on Marylanders’ Health

On August 18th, the White House released a set of state fact sheets, including one for Maryland, detailing how healthcare costs will lower due to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022's passage. According to its fact sheet, the White House anticipates cheaper prescription drug costs, lower health insurance premiums, and increased health insurance coverage in Maryland. As a result of the Act's passage, older adults and persons with disabilities across Maryland will overwhelmingly benefit due…

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Request for Proposals Best Practices in a Turbulent Economy at #MACoCon

A panel of experts help capital project managers see light at the end of a very expensive tunnel.  Public and private sector leaders came together to discuss challenges and opportunities across the entire life cycle of infrastructure projects in the wake of the pandemic. The Request for Proposals session focused on insights and resources for starting those projects and getting them over the finish line. On the government side, Joseph Siemek, Director of Public Works…

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Building Equitable Infrastructure: A Luncheon Conversation at #MACoCon

The Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus (Diversity Caucus) and Women of MACo jointly hosted a luncheon at MACo's Summer Conference featuring a much-needed discussion regarding equity and public infrastructure. The Diversity Caucus and Women of MACo are chaired by Commissioner President Craig Mathies, Sr., and Council President MC Keegan-Ayer, respectively. In addition, two speakers joined the luncheon: Delegate Robbyn Lewis and Thomas D. Peterson, President of the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS). Each speaker highlighted inequities resulting…

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Footage A La Carte: Counties Discuss Bodycam Footage Requests at #MACoCon

At this year's MACo Summer Conference, county officials joined to discuss the many roadblocks and best practices for accommodating body-worn camera footage requests made under the Maryland Public Information Act. With the passage of 2021's Maryland Police Accountability Act, county law enforcement agencies must equip their officers with body-worn cameras. As a result, counties must now reckon with countless hours of captured footage and an unprecedented influx of Maryland Public Information Act (PIA) requests to…

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Foundation of the Future: Infrastructure, Large and Small at #MACoCon

A panel of local, state, and federal experts shared valuable insights to make the most of an unprecedented investment in infrastructure, including tips for navigating the process ahead, developing and communicating local priorities, funding opportunities, critical timelines, and more. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is an unprecedented investment in the nation's infrastructure, including all modes of transportation, water, power, broadband, cybersecurity, energy, environmental remediation, resilience, and more. With Maryland set to receive billions over the next…

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Sticker Shock! Adjusting for Inflation at #MACoCon

A panel of experts offered insights and best practices for navigating fiscal uncertainty. Inflation is exceptionally high, driving up costs for capital projects and routine service delivery. The tight labor market means county governments are increasing salaries, which puts upward pressure on pension costs. Supply chain issues driven by geopolitical unrest and the global pandemic threaten to delay priority projects. And the looming potential of a recession only adds fuel to the fire. At this…

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