Large County Coalition Holds Education Roundtable at #MACoCon

The Large County Coalition held a roundtable discussion on education funding at its annual luncheon at this year's MACo Winter Conference. Specifically, members discussed the potential impacts of the Kirwan Commission’s ambitious, multi-billion-dollar overhaul of Maryland’s education system. https://twitter.com/KKinnally_MACo/status/1202641180082757632 The Coalition is a chapter organization within MACo and aims to promote collegiality and cooperation, share information, and develop strategic alliances among Maryland counties with populations greater than 200,000. The Coalition works to ensure that representation…

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Improving Census Participation Means More $$$ at #MACoCon

Attendees to the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference learned about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and how to achieve higher participation rates among undercounted communities during the "2020 Census: The Foundation of Our Future" panel. The paenl was held on December 4. Maryland Secretary of Planning Robert McCord explained the importance of the census to state and local funding and how census data is used. McCord highlighted how the Maryland Department of…

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Budgeting Best Practices at #MACoCon

With all the talk about funding formulas for Kirwan and other initiatives, it is clear that there is an even greater need for counties to have strong budgeting procedures. At the 2019 MACo Winter Conference Adacademy Core session, "County Financial Management" attendees learned about the budgeting process; important financial terms; how to implement a multi-year plan; and questions to keep in mind when managing your county's budget. It was taught by Carroll County Director of…

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The Perfect Storm for County Budgets… Part Deux

A storm is brewing. Rising costs, sluggish growth, unfunded mandates, and greater demand for services all signal turbulent times ahead for county government budgets. Economic instability, shifting demographics, and the ambitious, multi-billion-dollar overhaul of Maryland’s education system only exacerbate the growing pressure on county budgets. At this year’s MACo Winter Conference, MACo’s Budget and Finance Affiliate hosted a panel discussion on the economy, best practices for planning, budgeting, forecasting, and strategies for how counties can…

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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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City Council Approves Public Campaign Financing Option

The Baltimore City Council today approved legislation to establish public campaign financing for candidates seeking City elective office. The voluntary program would allocate matching funds to candidates who agree not to accept individual donations larger than $150 or donations from corporations, unions, and political action committees (PACS). According to WYPR: For example, mayoral candidates must raise either $40,000 or receive donations from 500 individuals or more to tap into the fund; candidates for comptroller or…

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Baltimore County Wins $1.65 Million Grant for Towson Circulator

Baltimore County has won a federal grant award to support the launch of a Towson Circulator pilot. The $1.65 million grant, announced today by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes, was requested by County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s administration as it seeks to create innovative transportation options for Baltimore County residents. “The Towson Circulator will be a critical project that will better connect residents between where they…

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Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s Reaffirm Cecil Bond Ratings

Standard & Poor's Global Rating Services and Moody’s Investors Service this week reaffirmed Cecil County's 'AA+' and 'Aa2' respective bond ratings. Both agencies cite "strong management, strong fiscal policies and practices, and maintenance of structurally balanced operations" as primary factors in determining the ratings. "We work very hard to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and those conservative practices have been identified and clearly recognized by the rating agencies," said County Executive Alan McCarthy. "Our…

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