Public Unions After Janus v. AFSCME: What’s Happening Around the U.S.?

In June of 2018, the United States Supreme Court ruled that public employees have a constitutional right to quit their union and stop paying dues in the Janus v. AFSCME decision. As National Employee Freedom Week is being celebrated this week, The Hill published an opinion piece on the ramifications of this legislative override and what is happening around the county. What is happening around the United States? New Jersey: The legislature passed the Workplace…

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St. Mary’s Library Goes High-Tech: Introduces 3D Printing, Virtual Reality

The St. Mary’s County Library this week announced the acquisition of 3D printers, 3D pens, Cricut Maker machines, and virtual reality headsets. The St. Mary's County Library has branches in Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown, and Lexington Park. “In a recent community survey, we saw lots of interest in providing new technology for County residents to discover and learn from,” said Michael Blackwell, Director. “We’re grateful to our Friends for the funding that has made it possible.”…

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Counties, Tune Your Scanners to the Volunteer Fire Channel

Panelists at MACo's Summer Conference urged increased communication and partnership between state and county governments and volunteer fire departments. Participants in MACo's Summer Conference Session, Sound the Siren: Maryland's Volunteer Fire Service Needs Help all shared their interest and longtime support for Maryland's volunteer fire companies. Many also shared personal stories that made attendees realize the profound changes that have taken place over the past half-century throughout the US. Sam Goldwater, Strategic Planning Chief of…

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U.S. Census Bureau Launches First Major Field Operation for 2020 Census

The U.S. Census Bureau last week launched address canvassing, the first major field operation of the 2020 Census. Address canvassing improves and refines the Census Bureau’s address list of households nationwide, which is necessary to deliver invitations to respond to the census. The address list plays a vital role in ensuring a complete and accurate count of everyone living in the United States. “The Census Bureau is dedicated to ensuring that we are on track,…

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Deadly or Delicious? Food Safety and Legislation

The 2019 Legislative Session saw the passage and consideration of several bills aimed at changing food safety requirements. Food safety is critical to community health and is a cornerstone of local health departments. Improperly prepared food and unsafe practices have had fatal consequences for Maryland residents. Moderated by The Honorable Senator Paul Pinsky, panelists went over the state’s ban on polystyrene food containers, changes to cottage food products, and potential restrictions on plastic straws. Panelists…

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How Maryland is Coming Together to Help Our Veterans

In a well-attended session at #MACoCon, moderated by the Honorable Senator Doug Peters, panelists covered county- and state-level efforts to stand up for veterans, reviewed best practices, and introduced the Veterans Services Specialist (VSS) Program in state government. During the panel, goals of the Office of Veterans Affairs were explained to attendees, which include: -Retain Veterans: Create a connection between veterans and employers to ensure each person has an opportunity to train and work in…

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Deadline Approaching for GFOA’s 2020 Awards for Excellence Program

The Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Awards for Excellence in Government Finance recognize innovative contributions in the field of government finance and leading examples of best practice implementation. The awards stress practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession and promotes improved public finance. The deadline to submit applications is September 30, 2019. https://twitter.com/GFOA/status/1163861046723002378 Entries may be submitted for consideration in one of the following Awards for Excellence categories: Creative Solution to Common Challenge…

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Ingenuity Takes Stage as Stakeholders Think Outside the Box for Behavioral Health Solutions

There is no one way to solve the opioid and behavioral health crises. And at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference session, "New Tools for Tracking and Treating Opioid and Mental Health Crises", attendees learned just how much innovative mindsets can yield creative and effective solutions for tackling these complex, lingering issues. Jeff Beeson, Deputy Director, Management Coordination, Washington/Baltimore HIDTA discussed how ODMAP helps federal, state and local governments collect and visualize fatal and nonfatal overdose…

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Counties Take Action Against Maternal and Infant Deaths

Attendees of the MACo Summer Conference session, "Women and Children are Dying. What are We Doing About It?," learned how experts from across the state are tracking and working to stem the disturbing uptick of maternal and infant deaths. Chairman of the Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), Allan Anderson, discussed the grants CHRC provides to organizations who provide women's health programs such as those that tackle issues associated with maternal and infant health deaths and…

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Discuss What’s Next for Maryland at 2019 Winter #MACoCon – “Building for the Future”

MACo's Board of Directors and Conference Planning Committee are proud to announce the theme of the upcoming Winter Conference December 4-6, 2019: "Building for the Future." "Building for the Future" will focus on county governance challenges and best practices - from the foundation to the rooftop – that will decide Maryland’s future. Topics to be discussed include school construction, clean energy infrastructure and solar siting, “The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future,” medical cannabis in the workplace,…

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