Lower Shore Crisis Stabilization Center Receives Boost of Grant Funding

The grant of $532,109 will help fund the lower eastern shore counties' -- Worcester, Wicomico, and Somerset -- crisis stabilization center. The stabilization center is the result of a partnership the tri-county health departments and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. From a Worcester County news release: The funding awarded by the project will benefit individuals seeking urgent help for substance-use disorders. These individuals will receive access to a safe, drug and alcohol-free environment, along with…

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State To Hold Counties Harmless for School Construction Funding

After careful consideration, the Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC) will hold counties harmless for school construction funding during FY 2021 and FY 2022. Last year, the authority to grant funding for public school construction projects switched from the Board of Public Works (made up of the Governor, Comptroller, and Treasurer) to the IAC through the 21st Century School Facilities Act, which passed through the Maryland General Assembly in 2018. During the IAC’s September 12 meeting,…

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Opioid Litigation Takes a Turn with Potential Purdue Settlement

The latest development in the nationwide litigation efforts against opioid companies is shaping up to be a game-changer. Purdue Pharma has tentatively reached a settlement with 23 states and over 2,000 cities that sued the company over its role in creating the opioid crisis. The deal is estimated to be between $10-12 bilion with a $3 billion guarantee over 7 years to be distributed to the aggrieved jurisdictions. If finalized it would remove Purdue from all…

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Council President Scott Unveils “Tracker” For Policy Proposals

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott unveiled a user-friendly progress tracking tool to allow residents and stakeholders to monitor the progress of numerous recent procedural and accountability proposals. Council President Brandon Scott has advanced a series of proposals to promote transparency and responsiveness in City government and Council business, and today has unveiled a one-stop "tracker" to help residents monitor the progress of each component of the plan. The tracker, hosted online as a shared…

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Coalition Asks Congress to Repeal Rescission of $7.6B in Federal Highway Aid

A broad coalition of national associations—including the National Association of Counties (NACo) and National Governors Association (NGA)— is calling on congressional leaders to repeal the rescission of $7.6 billion in federal-aid highway contract authority scheduled to occur in July 2020. All 50 states and the District of Columbia would be impacted by the rescission. A rescission is legislation enacted by Congress that cancels the availability of budget authority (e.g., contract authority) before that authority would…

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Preemption Town Hall Set For September 19th

The LOCAL Maryland coalition, along with the NAACP, are presenting a public "town meeting" on state-level preemption - mark your calendars for Thursday evening, September 19, in Prince George's County. What is #preemption and how can it hurt your health and quality of life? Join us at the Prince George's NAACP Town Hall Meeting on Sept. 19 in Lanham to learn more about preserving the right of local governments to work for your needs. Questions?…

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Montgomery Council Considering Air Conditioning Mandate for Rental Units

Montgomery County Council Member Tom Hucker yesterday held a press conference on a local bill to require air conditioning in rental units. Bill 24-19 would require all landlords to supply and maintain air conditioning between May 1 and September 30 for an inside temperature of 80 degrees or lower. Hucker says that the proposal recognizes that cooling is a necessity, alongside similar laws mandating rental properties be heated. "We require our landlords to provide heat,…

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Sun Calls for Support of Trauma-Informed Care Act

A piece by the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board urges the Baltimore City Council not only to pass a bill introduced by City Councilman Zeke Cohen but to also back it with a financial commitment to help secure its success. The Trauma-Informed Care Act would ensure that city employees are properly trained to help youths that have experienced traumatic events. From the Sun editorial: We stand behind the idea, which would have employees at all levels of government…

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Queen Anne’s Hopes TIF District Will Improve Local Infrastructure

The Queen Anne's County Commissioners yesterday approved the County's first tax increment financing (TIF) district. The Kent Narrows Development Project was established to provide much-needed infrastructure to support several projects at the Kent Narrows on Kent Island. TIF provides the opportunity to leverage limited public financing of public infrastructure (i.e., roads, sewers, and utilities) to attract private investment. It encourages the development of specific projects that are in the public interest that would otherwise be…

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