Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Baltimore County Retains Triple AAA Bond Ratings

Amid the unparalleled economic interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County today announced that the three major bond rating agencies reaffirmed the County’s AAA bond rating, allowing the County to continue issuing bonds at the lowest possible interest rate—saving millions of dollars for County taxpayers. This week Moody’s Investor Service, Fitch Ratings, and S&P Global Ratings each reaffirmed the County’s triple-A rating, making Baltimore County one of only 49 counties nationwide to receive the…

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Congressional Delegation Announces $4.6M for Affordable Housing, Economic Development in Prince George’s

Maryland’s Congressional Delegation today announced $4.6 million in CARES Act funding through to address housing and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Prince George’s County. Prince George's County will receive $3,036,958 through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and $1,523,903 from Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG). https://twitter.com/LeaderHoyer/status/1280257161466183681 “Everyone deserves a stable and affordable place to call home,” said the lawmakers. “As COVID-19 has left many in Prince George’s County without jobs and struggling to support their…

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July 1st Board of Public Works Meeting: What Counties Need to Know

Note: The Maryland Board of Public Works approved $413 million in state budget cuts at today's meeting, but several proposed cuts -- including $41.1 million in state aid to counties --  were withdrawn prior to the meeting. Read MACo's coverage here. The Board of Public Works (BPW) considered and approved the following requests and recommendations in its July 1, 2020 meeting. This is not a comprehensive list of all considerations and approvals during the meeting.…

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Board of Public Works Pares Cuts, Spares Counties

The Maryland Board of Public Works (BPW) today approved $413 million in state budget cuts proposed by Governor Larry Hogan to account for increased spending and reduced revenues amid the COVID-19 public health crisis. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the BPW — a three-member panel which includes Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp — was originally set to consider $672 million in state budget cuts as part of the effort…

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Proposed BPW Cuts Hurt Local Health Departments, Undermine Public Health Efforts

Proposed across-the-board state employee pay cuts would have detrimental impacts on local health departments who are already understaffed, underfunded, and in the midst of providing vital services during a pandemic.  As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Board of Public Works (BPW) — a three-member panel which includes Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp — tomorrow will consider $672 million in state budget cuts as part of the Department of Budget…

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Counties: Hold Off On BPW Cuts, Until Things Are Clearer

A letter from multiple county leaders, including MACo President Sharon Green Middleton, calls for the state Board of Public Works to defer action on a number of budget cuts affecting counties - as the weeks ahead are likely to reveal more clarity on the state and county fiscal plight. With word that the Board of Public Works plans to consider a broad wave of budget cuts, including a number affecting county services, county leaders have…

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Franchot Says He Will Oppose Proposal to Slash County Disparity Grants
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot
Franchot Says He Will Oppose Proposal to Slash County Disparity Grants

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is poised to oppose several of Governor Larry Hogan's proposed budget cuts to account for increased spending and reduced revenues amid the COVID-19 public health crisis. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Board of Public Works -- a three-member panel which includes Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp -- tomorrow will consider $672 million in state budget cuts as part of the Department of Budget and…

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State Audit of Howard County Public Schools Commences This Week

A state-led audit of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) will commence this week. The audit, which will be conducted independently by the Maryland State Department of Education, is meant to ensure that County expenditures are being spent sensibly and effectively. The Howard County Council last July voted unanimously to approve an amended version of County Executive Calvin Ball’s resolution calling for a state audit of HCPSS. Council Resolution 108-2019 calls on the Maryland…

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BPW to Consider More than $670 Million in State Budget Cuts

The Board of Public Works (BPW) next week will consider $672 million in state budget cuts to account for increased spending and reduced revenues amid the COVID-19 public health crisis. Funding for state agencies, entitlement programs, and local aid — including transportation, local health grants, community colleges, libraries, disparity grants, and public safety — could be on the chopping block as part of the Department of Budget and Management's effort to offset COVID-19-related economic woes.…

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Feds Give Counties New Flexibility for COVID-19 Relief Funds

The U.S. Department of Treasury yesterday issued updated guidance on the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Included in the guidance is clarification on the ability of state and local governments to use CRF funding toward the non-federal matching requirements for FEMA’s Stafford Act assistance for COVID-19 relief. According to the guidance: May funds be used to satisfy non-federal matching requirements under the Stafford Act?…

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