LGIT – 6 Great Ways to Insure Your Local Government

Could you use some extra coverage for your local government? The Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT), a Platinum MACo Corporate Partner and Winter Conference Sponsor, offers joint self-insurance programs or pools for towns, cities, and counties in the State of Maryland. LGIT has 6 different departments offering services to over 163 different local governments including 17 different counties and several other county facilities (libraries, transit systems, etc). You can secure your local government with any…

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How 75% of State School Construction Funding May Be Spent

The Interagency Commission on School Construction takes the first step in reviewing funding for the fiscal 2020 year's capital budget for school construction. This is the first season of school capital budgeting under the modified process laid out by the General Assembly in its 2018 law, the 21st Century School Facilities Act. The Interagency Commission, created by that 2018 law, heard a presentation on the new process, and a quick overview of some of the…

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Kirwan Commission Mulls Changes to Education Funding Formulas

The [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education held its most recent meeting today in Annapolis. Known as the Kirwan Commission because it is chaired by former University System Chancellor Brit Kirwan, the Commission considered a Maryland Department of Legislative Services analysis of an education consultant's recommendations to adjust state and local education funding formulas. Noting the Commission's December deadline, Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice, a MACo representative on the Commission, expressed concerns over whether…

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Carroll Earns Three AAA Bond Ratings

Carroll County recently received the highly coveted AAA bond rating from all three of the major credit rating agencies. Moody's granted the county the highest possible rating, following the lead of FitchRatings and Standard & Poor's (S&P). The rating upgrade translates into a lower interest rate and reduced fees, saving valuable taxpayer dollars. According to a press release: The county will immediately feel the improved rating as it readies to finance a new $25M bond sale…

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Conduit Street Podcast: Split the Check for School Construction? Not So Fast…

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally is joined by MACo's Research Director, Robin Eilenberg, to discuss school construction in Maryland. For many years the State-county partnership on school construction has been strong, with the Department of Legislative Services reporting that from fiscal 2006 through 2013, the State provided $2.4 billion in new funds for school construction while Counties provided $2.1 billion for school construction. Increases in school construction costs in recent years, however,…

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Feds Announce Grants to Strengthen School Safety

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) today announced awarded $3.6 million in federal grants designed to strengthen school safety across Maryland. According to an MSDE press release: A five-year, $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow Maryland to implement the Maryland School Emergency Preparedness Program, a partnership between MSDE, local school systems, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and local emergency managers. In addition, a three-year, $1 million grant from…

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It’s Not Apples-to-Apples in School Construction Funding

In Maryland, the State shares school construction costs with counties, but the State only considers some construction costs eligible for funding. The State of Maryland contributes to school construction funding. The contribution varies from a minimum of 50% to 100%. Those percentages, however, belie the fact that the State does not consider all school construction costs as eligible for its funding. Many costs of construction are excluded from the formula before the percentage is even…

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Home High-Cost Home

Based on national data, Maryland county residents have relatively high median mortgage owner costs, with 19 counties in the highest bracket. The National Association of Counties (NACo) has released data compiling county-by-county statistics on 2016 housing costs. As NACo reports, 64% of all counties nationally have median monthly homeowner costs of more than $1000. NACo's data shows the median monthly owner costs for mortgaged housing for all counties in the nation. Housing costs are an…

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A Drone To Solve a Traffic Jam

State and local transportation departments across the country are finding utility from unmanned aerial systems. As reported by GCN, a site dedicated to reporting technology, tools and tactics for public sector IT, 35 of 44 state transportation departments that responded to a recent survey report that they are using drone technology. From GCN, State transportation departments are adopting drone technology largely for infrastructure inspection, but the technology can also be used to get an aerial…

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Is Maryland Prepared for the Next Recession?

Separate, in-depth reviews released in recent days by two major credit-rating agencies say nearly a quarter of all states are well-positioned to handle the first-year shock of a recession with their reserves — and Maryland is not one of them. It has been more than nine years since the end of the last recession, the third longest period of expansion in U.S. history, and state and local governments across the country are beginning to look…

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