Conduit Street Podcast: Clues to Hogan’s Budget Proposal, Economic Uncertainty Looming, and the Latest from #MDGA19

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast. You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website. Useful Links Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Governor Hogan Previews 2020 Budget Proposal Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Federal Government Shutdown: State, Local Governments Feel the Pinch Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Maryland Counties Rally…

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2018 Legislative Handbook Series – An Indispensable Reference

The Department of Legislative Services has released its quadrennial Legislative Handbook Series, a deep and useful reference series that encapsulates nearly every issue of government at the state and local level. The series may be downloaded or viewed online for free at the links below: Legislative Handbook Series: Vol 1 – Legislators Handbook Vol 2 – Government Services Vol 3 – Revenue Structure Vol 4 – Budget Process Vol 5 – Personnel, Pensions & Procurement…

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State Unemployment Rate Ticks Down

Driven by strong gains in the professional and business services industry, Maryland's unemployment rate fell slightly to 4 percent in November, from 4.1 percent the month before, according to recent statistics from the United States Department of Labor. According to The Baltimore Sun: Unemployment is also lower than a year ago, but still not as low as the national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, which was unchanged from the month before The state added 7,900…

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Hogan Taps Kelly Schulz to Lead Department of Commerce
Kelly M. Schulz Secretary, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (photo courtesy of DLLR)
Hogan Taps Kelly Schulz to Lead Department of Commerce

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of Kelly M. Schulz as secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce. Schulz currently serves as secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR). Secretary Schulz, whose nomination is subject to Senate confirmation, will replace Secretary R. Michael Gill, who will return to the private sector after leading Commerce —formerly the Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) — since Hogan took office in 2015. James…

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Who Needs a Cubicle? Tennessee Takes Teleworking to the Max

For Tennessee state employees, the concept of individual offices, cubicles, and desks, adorned with family photos and mementos, is becoming a thing of the past. The state's ambitious new approach to the workplace, Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS), goes far beyond traditional telecommuting - and in addition to boosting employee morale and productivity, it's saving the state millions of dollars. According to Governing: In exchange for giving up their desk or office, participating employees can work…

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Supreme Court: Age Discrimination Law Applies to All Public Employees

All state and local governments need to comply with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, no matter their size. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that local governments with small workforces must comply with a federal law against age discrimination. The justices ruled Tuesday in favor of two Arizona firefighters who claimed they were laid off because of their age when their local fire district faced a budget crisis. According to Route Fifty:…

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Secretary Schulz Visits Charles to Discuss Economic Development

The Charles County Economic Development Department held its annual fall meeting this week to explore ways to grow and maintain a successful workforce in Charles County. Influential community leaders from the public and private sectors participated in panel discussions to share their experiences with educating, training, and sustaining the workforce. Kelly Schulz, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, served as the keynote speaker. According to a press release: “This year’s meeting was…

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Conduit Street Podcast: New Laws Take Effect, Internet Regs Spark Latest Clash Over States’ Rights, & More!

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Michael Sanderson and Kevin Kinnally discuss a handful of new Maryland laws, which took effect this week, explain why California's new net neutrality law sparked the latest debate over states' rights, and examine the impact of congressional action (or inaction) on state laws. Listen here: MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit…

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NAFTA 2.0?

After nearly a year of high-level negotiations, the United States and Mexico announced a preliminary agreement on a major overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a trilateral accord negotiated by the governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Meanwhile, Canadian officials are in Washington to try and salvage the 24-year-old accord that accounts for more than $1 billion in annual trade. NAFTA’s terms, which were implemented gradually through January 2008, sough…

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Howard County Announces Trade Apprenticeship Program

Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced plans for an apprenticeship program, starting in 2019, to fill electrical, plumbing and HVAC-R jobs in Howard County. Howard County is among a handful of jurisdictions that recently earned approval from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to use registered apprenticeships to attract skilled workers in needed employment areas. According to a press release: “Howard County, among other jurisdictions, is losing some of its…

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