Federal Courts, Private Prisons, and Potential Conflict

A recent federal court case could have significant implications for legislatures seeking to limit or eliminate private detention centers across the country, including in Maryland. In The Geo Group, Inc. v. Newsom, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed a lower court's injunction preventing a private prison company from operating in California based on a state law, AB 32, that phases "out all private detention facilities within the state." The Court justified its…

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Baltimore City Mayor Appoints Kennedy as Housing Commissioner

Today, Baltimore City Mayor Brandon M. Scott appointed Alice Kennedy as Commissioner for the City's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Ms. Kennedy had been serving as Acting Commissioner since August of 2020. She will be charged with carrying out two of the Mayor's priorities concerning equitable development and modernizing permitting systems. In a press release, Mayor Scott praised Kennedy: “I’m pleased to announce the selection of our new housing commissioner, Alice Kennedy,” said…

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Harford Exec Proposes Term Limits for County Council

The Harford County Council will consider legislation to give voters a referendum on limiting future council members to two consecutive four-year terms. If the Council approves the measure, voters will decide to approve or reject term limits during the 2022 General Election. The legislation, proposed by County Executive Barry Glassman, would place the same two-term limit and provisions for council members that apply to the county executive. Under the proposal, council members could serve two…

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State to Award $1 Million for Pretrial Services

Today, the Governor's Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services (GOCCP) announced its intention to, under the Pretrial Services Grant Program, distribute $1 million in FY 2022 to local courts and governments to improve pretrial services. In a press release, GOCCP explained the potential benefits of this funding: “Pretrial service programs provide our judges additional tools for safely referring non-violent offenders to alternative services to create better public safety outcomes for our communities,” said Glenn…

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Anne Arundel Considering Vaccine Passport Vendors

On Tuesday, September 7, 2021, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman spoke with reporters regarding vaccine passports. WBAL and the Daily Record report that Executive Pittman is expected to provide an announcement in the near future detailing a "passport system for vaccines and COVID-19 testing." A spokesperson for Executive Pittman noted the county is considering tech vendors to assist businesses looking to verify vaccination status for safe reopening purposes. As reported in the Daily Record:…

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Louis Winston Selected as Howard’s New Chief of Fire and Rescue
(courtesy of Howard County Government)
Louis Winston Selected as Howard’s New Chief of Fire and Rescue

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has named Louis Winston as the next Chief of the Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS). Executive Ball commended Mr. Winston, who currently serves as HCDFRS's deputy chief, stating: Lou Winston is a long-time respected and admired member of the fire service. He is an innovative and progressive leader who has the experience to carry on the traditions of our Department while shaping and preparing it for the future.…

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MACo’s Book Club Talks Through “Digital Body Language” at #MACoCon

MACo's Book Club - an informal gathering at each summer and winter conference - spotlighted "Digital Body Language" for a lively conversation during the Summer Conference. In recent years, MACo's summer and winter conferences have featured a different flavor of "breakout" sessions on the program - a chance for attendees to discuss a book of interest, selected by a hands-on group of regular attendees. The books are typically selected for their relevance to public sector…

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The Future of Maryland’s Workforce: Apprenticeship Programs for Public Workers

The MACo Summer Conference featured a session discussing challenges facing Maryland’s public trades workforce and how Counties can turn those challenges into rewarding opportunities. This session was moderated by Jack Wilson, Commissioner for Queen Anne’s County.   It is no secret that the labor force in the United States is shifting. More individuals are attaining higher education, and each generation is becoming more educated then the last. This shift in the labor force is posing…

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Greater Baltimore Committee Highlights MACo’s Michael Sanderson

As a guest on the Greater Baltimore Committee's "5 Questions" series, Michael Sanderson lays out county successes and priorities for the session and year ahead. The Greater Baltimore Committee serves as the Baltimore region’s premier organization of business and civic leaders – has been a leading voice for the business community on issues relating to economic growth, job creation, workforce development, transportation and quality of life. Their "5 Questions" series spotlights area policy and political…

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Worcester County Commissioners Appoint Jennifer Keener as Director of Development Review & Permitting

Snow Hill, Maryland – (July 30, 2021): Worcester County Commissioners named Jennifer Keener as the new director of Development Review and Permitting (DRP). Keener joined DRP in 2006 and served as a DRP specialist until being promoted to zoning administrator in 2009 and deputy director in 2020. “Growth isn’t a one and done effort, it is a process, and Keener is well-suited to lead her team, as they provide a range of services to assist…

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