Grant Applications to Open for Six State Housing Revitalization Programs

On May 19th, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will open an application portal for six programs supporting local housing, community and economic development, and other revitalization projects. Grants are intended to assist local governments and nonprofits, and run through the following programs: Community Legacy Strategic Demolition Fund – Statewide Strategic Demolition Fund – Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise) Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund Seed…

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US Justice Department Offering $40 Million for Community Policing

On Monday, May 9th, the U.S. Department of Justice made approximately $40 million in Community Policing Development (CPD) grants available, along with roughly $5 million for the Collaborative Reform Initiative.  Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta discussed the purpose of the funds in a press release: “Nothing is more important than keeping our communities safe,” said Associate Attorney General Gupta. “Each day, approximately half a million people throughout the United States call 911 for help and there…

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Moody’s, Fitch Reaffirm Washington County’s Strong Credit Ratings

Today, two major credit rating agencies affirmed Washington County’s strong bond ratings in advance of an upcoming sale of $16.4 million of public improvement bonds. Moody’s Investor Service affirmed the County’s Aa1 rating, while Fitch Ratings affirmed its AA+ rating. The ratings keep borrowing costs low for capital projects and reflect the County’s sound fiscal policies, prudent long-range planning, and robust economy. The County expects the bonds to sell on May 24, 2022, via competitive…

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Fitch Affirms AAA Rating for Prince George’s in Advance of $274M Bond Sale

Fitch Ratings this week affirmed Prince George’s County’s AAA bond rating in advance of the upcoming competitive bond sale. The rating keeps borrowing costs low for capital projects and reflects the County’s sound fiscal policies, prudent long-range planning, and economic stability. Fitch Ratings assigned a AAA rating to the following Prince George's County general obligation (GO) bonds: $273,610,000 GO consolidated public improvement bonds, series 2022A. Proceeds from the consolidated public improvement bonds -- which will…

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As Personal Financial Literacy Education Grows Nationally, Maryland Lags

Nationally, data indicate that financial literacy is growing and states are increasingly prioritizing the issue in public education. During the 2022 session of the Maryland General Assembly, lawmakers tackled the issue and passed a bill requiring k-12 public curriculums to incorporate financial literacy. K-12 Dive, a website that provides "journalism and insight into the most impactful news and trends shaping K-12 education," recently published a deep dive on financial literacy education in the United States.…

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Fed Looks to Tame Inflation, Issues Biggest Rate Hike in Two Decades

The US central bank has announced its most significant interest rate increase in more than two decades as it toughens its fight against soaring prices. The Federal Reserve this week raised short-term interest rates by 0.50 percent as part of an effort to tamp down on inflationary pressures. The Fed set the benchmark interest rate to a target range between 0.75 percent and 1 percent. According to a statement, Although overall economic activity edged down…

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Today: NACo Webinar on Treasury Reporting for Rural Counties

The National Association of Counties (NACo) will host a webinar, April 26, at 2:00 pm on the ARPA Recovery Fund Project and Expenditure (P&E) Report submission process. This is the second part of a two-part series on the US Department of the Treasury's reporting guidelines and compliance requirements for the Recovery Fund. During the webinar, NACo will answer questions from the first part of the series and provide an overview of how counties that claim…

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2022 Session: Recap and Wrap-Ups

Catch up on all of the latest outcomes of the 2022 Maryland General Assembly session with wrap-ups on important county-related bills in each policy area. This year, the Maryland General Assembly conducted a legislative session unlike any other due to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic. The unique circumstances surrounding the 444th legislative session, including necessary health and safety measures, posed a challenge for lawmakers and advocates alike, with one chamber in-person and the other remote for…

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2022 End of Session Wrap-Up: Finance and Procurement

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of finance and procurement in the 2022 General Assembly.  The unique circumstances surrounding the 444th legislative session, including necessary health and safety measures, posed a challenge for lawmakers and advocates alike. Yet, despite the unusual circumstances, MACo’s advocacy still led to more positive outcomes for its members. Follow these links for more coverage on our Conduit Street blog and Legislative Database.  Finance…

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US Treasury’s Final Rules for Recovery Funds are Out, Here’s Your Walk-Through

The US Department of the Treasury has released its final rules for local government use of ARPA Recovery Funds. The accountability provisions will require some meaningful local compliance - NACo has assembled a useful guidance document, and is serving as a resource for county officials navigating this process. Received from the National Association of Counties, for distribution to county officials: NACo just refreshed a major update of our analysis of Treasury’s Final Rule for the…

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