Joint Task Force Sets Focus on Medicaid Inmate Exclusion and Health Care in Jails

Addressing the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion was the top order of business at the Task Force's October meeting. The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) join task force on inmate health care and recidivism recently met to discuss the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion and ways to advocate for change. This federal policy removes Medicaid health and veteran benefits from individuals as soon as they are admitted to jail -- even if they…

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Local Bill Aims to Close “Teardown Loophole” in Montgomery County

Montgomery County Council Member Evan Glass yesterday introduced the Housing Impact Fairness Act –– legislation aimed at raising money for affordable housing and school construction –– by closing the "teardown loophole.” https://twitter.com/MoCoCouncilMD/status/1184210415636615171 The bill would create an excise tax on the demolition or partial demolition (i.e., "teardown") of single-family homes and expand the applicability of the development impact tax for public school improvements. Council Member Glass says the proposal would raise $100 million over the next…

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Frederick Announces 2021 Community Partnership Grant Program

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner this week announced the opening of the application process for the FY21 Community Partnership Grant program. The program awards competitive grants to non-profit organizations serving the needs of county residents. “I am proud to restore our long-standing partnerships with our local human service nonprofit providers,” County Executive Gardner said. “Together, we leverage our efforts to provide effective services and to make sure everyone shares in our community’s prosperity.” According to…

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Staples Asks Supreme Court to Weigh In on Maryland Tax Dispute

Office-supply retailer Staples Inc. last week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review its long-standing legal battle with Maryland over the state’s claim that the retail giant owes it $14 million in back taxes. Staples Inc., based in Massachusetts, argues that Maryland's taxation of franchise fees paid by the retailer's Maryland stores violates the Constitution's Due Process and Interstate Commerce clauses. The dispute centers around whether or not franchise fee payments received from Staples' Maryland…

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Kirwan Formula Work Group Done: County Costs $1.27B Above “Current Trend”

The Formula Funding Work Group, created to inform the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, issued its recommendations. The bottom line to counties: fully fund the "local share" (as implied by local wealth) of the full range of new state programs - phased in to total $9.3 billion by FY 2030. The Formula Funding Work Group, after working for months toward recommendations on the financial mechanics of the Kirwan Commission vision, completed its…

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State Receives Federal Grant to Support International Efforts and Export Program

As part of a continuing effort to broaden Maryland’s international reach and help companies create jobs and access new foreign markets, the Maryland Department of Commerce has been awarded a $550,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant will be used to support Maryland Commerce’s international efforts, including attending overseas trade shows in targeted industry sectors and helping to fund the state’s ExportMD program, which provides matching grants of…

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Montgomery to Take Legal Action Against E-Cig Manufacturers and Distributors

Montgomery County officials plan to investigate and sue industry giant Juul as well as other manufacturers and distributors of electronic cigarettes, aka vapes. Juul is the target of several civil lawsuits around the country that call out the company for marketing vapes to teens as well as advertising false or misleading health claims. From The Bethesda Beat: On Tuesday, the County Council is scheduled to approve the appointment of a special counsel to investigate and…

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Cecil Ramps Up Census Outreach

With the 2020 Census just around the corner, Cecil County Executive Alan McCarthy and the Cecil County Council are encouraging residents to spread the word on the importance of a fair and accurate count. The County formed a complete count committee in order to collaborate with local non-profits and other organizations to promote the 2020 Census. "Cecil County Council was asked by Audra Harrison, Maryland census director, to organize with community partners to encourage Cecil…

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Debt Affordability Committee Discusses GASB 87 and State Tax-Supported Debt

The Capital Debt Affordability Committee (CDAC) held the second of three annual meetings in the process of recommending a level of capital debt for the State. During the second CDAC meeting, Christian Lund, Director of Debt Management for the State Treasurer's Office, took the members through the CDAC Workgroup Report on Implementation of GASB 87. The workgroup looked at the new guidance under GASB 87, which determines which leases should be considered capital leases versus…

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Anne Arundel Holds Public Hearing on Contentious Forest Conservation Bill

A Bay Journal article (2019-10-8) reported that Anne Arundel County held a nearly three-hour public hearing on a contentious forest conservation bill introduced by County Executive Steuart Pittman. The article indicated that the bill was supported by environmental and civic groups and opposed by developers and the real estate industry. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Pittman introduced the bill in an effort to stem the loss of forest in the County. The County has lost 2,775 since…

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