2021 End of Session Wrap-Up: Government Liability & Courts

This post summarizes the status of various government liability & courts legislation that MACo took a position on during the 2021 Regular session.  County governments enforce laws, employ county residents, and maintain facilities throughout Maryland. Therefore county governments may be subject to acting as defendants in court, litigating cases involving employment benefits, injuries sustained on county properties, and various other subjects. MACo advocates on behalf of county governments to clarify the unique role that they…

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2021 End of Session Wrap-Up: Education

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo's work in the area of education policy in the 2021 General Assembly. Counties support education as the largest component of their budgets, with operating and capital support for schools typically representing a larger share of a county budget than all other functions combined. Statutory formulas drive most state-level funding, which requires constant attention to the state-county balance in funding responsibilities. The burden of costly mandates can…

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2021 End of Session Wrap-Up: Employee Benefits and Relations

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo's work in the area of employee benefits and employee relations in the 2021 General Assembly.  MACo advocates for fair state laws governing employment practices, labor representation, and employer-employee relationships. MACo becomes particularly engaged when a proposal has a disproportionate or unique effect on public sector employees - frequently those affecting public safety employees or other public workers who engage in sensitive and essential functions. This year…

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Sweeping Police Reforms Passed, Await Governor’s Action

Following extended debate across both chambers, the General Assembly passed a suite of bills intended to add to police accountability and standards. The mostly party-line vote has stakeholders awaiting the Governor's action on the several proposals. Police reforms have gathered public attention for many months, and Maryland is among many states contemplating broad reforms to discipline and accountability for officers. Following a complex, and sometimes contentious, debate on multiple bills, the General Assembly finally passed…

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Hogan Announces Additional $10M in Grants for Maryland Schools

Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland State Department of Education today announced $10 million in grant awards to support schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact education in Maryland. The announced funding will provide $1 million grants to 10 programs in order to address the needs of at-risk students and support innovative education solutions. Awarded through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), the funding will provide grants to local school…

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Maryland Casino Revenues Hit Record High

With most operating at full capacity for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, Maryland’s six casinos generated a single-month record of $169,179,016 in gaming revenue during the month of March, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The total represents an increase of $5,916,168 (3.6%) compared to March of 2019, when the casinos produced the previous single-month record of $163,262,848. In 2020, all six casinos were closed from March 16…

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Carroll County Public Schools Hold Second Mental Health Seminar

Carroll County Public Schools held their second 'Navigating Difficult Waters' event, which is aimed at educating the school community about mental health and wellness.  As covered by the Carrol County Times event attendees had the opportunity to listen to a variety of speakers and participate in breakout sessions in a virtual setting. The breakout session covered the differences between mental health and mental illness along with suicide prevention. 'Navigating Difficult Waters' was led by therapist…

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Six Maryland Community Colleges Form Maryland Education Alliance

Six Maryland community colleges across the state have announced the formation of the Maryland Education Alliance (MEA). Currently, the MEA is composed of the College of Southern Maryland, Anne Arundel Community College, Cecil College, Chesapeake College, Harford Community College, and Prince George's Community College. The goal of the Alliance is to create an easy pathway for students to transfer from one community college to another in order to boost enrollment in certain programs. This will…

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Kirwan “Blueprint 2.0” Follow-up Bill Passed, Sent on to Governor

HB 1372, the follow-up bill adjusting multiple facets of the Kirwan Blueprint school plan, accommodating both the effects of the pandemic and the veto/override timetable, has passed the General Assembly. The "fix up" bill tending to multiple facets of the 2020 Kirwan Blueprint for Maryland's Future has passed, after receiving amendments in both chambers. The House has accepted the Senate changes, and the bill will be sent to Governor Hogan for his approval. Thus far,…

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Prince George’s Partners with BusPatrol to Improve School Bus Safety

Prince George's County recently announced a new partnership with BusPatrol to launch a school bus safety program in order to increase student safety as they travel to and from school. All of the 1,216 buses in the PGCPS fleet have been upgraded with safety technology from BusPatrol and its technology partners Zonar, Samsung and Transfinder at no cost to the school system or taxpayers. From the press release: The technology package includes cloud-connected stop-arm cameras…

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