Howard County Government to Roll Out Healthy Vending Machines

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball this week announced that the County has begun soliciting bids for healthy vending machines in county government buildings and facilities. This vending machine contract will adhere to the nutritional standards set by CB17-2015, an act sponsored by Ball during his tenure on the county council, “requiring that healthy food and beverage options be provided on certain county properties and for certain county programs.” According to a press release: “When I…

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Maker of Suboxone Reaches Largest Settlement Yet Related to Opioid Crisis

The maker of Subxone is the latest pharmaceutical company to settle rather than face trial for alleged. The company will pay $1.4 billion to the U.S  government to settle -- the largest opioid-related settlement to date. From The Hill: Reckitt Benckiser Group, the manufacturer of Suboxone, a treatment for opioid addiction, agreed to the settlement to end criminal and civil probes into the business, but it denied any wrongdoing. The Department of Justice (DOJ) said…

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How Federal Tax Reform is Changing the Muni Market

Fearing more changes from Congress, fewer states and cities are turning to the municipal bond market. While the most direct effects of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) have been on tax revenues, the law is also influencing the way governments borrow money. The 2017 federal tax reforms have left many stakeholders, including state and local governments, uncertain about longer-term effects. One such area is with municipal bonds, which were threatened to lose…

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MACo OPEB Trust – Gains of $5.8m, and Counting…

MACo's OPEB Investment Trust has yielded its local government members over $5.8 million in investment gains since its inception - contact MACo today to see if this service is right for your county. MACo offers its member counties, along with their libraries, colleges, and supported units, an investment tool to help gaining long term assets toward their retiree health care liabilities. These costs, referenced by accountants as "Other Post Employment Benefits" or OPEB, present a…

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Cecil to Host Procurement Expo

The Cecil County Purchasing Office, a division of the Finance Department, will hold an Informational Procurement Open House for current and prospective vendors on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in the Elk Room at the Cecil County Administration Building, located at 200 Chesapeake Blvd., Elkton. According to a press release: Cecil County Government departments and divisions (Animal Services, Cecil Transit, Solid Waste, Roads, Wastewater, Facilities, & more), as well as…

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Dial in to the May 21 NACo NE Regional Meeting

NACo's Northeast Region holds a monthly call-in to discuss federal and regional issues - hold the time for this meeting at 9am on May 21. At the May call, NACo legislative staff are expected to update members on a range of federal topics, including the latest on federal funding proposals, and the continuing saga of federal overtime rules. County elected and appointed officials are welcome on the call. The full meeting agenda is below: NACo…

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2019 State and Local Fiscal Facts

In the past few years, financial conditions for state and local governments have stabilized, but progress has been limited. While challenges remain, officials have been taking steps to replenish rainy day funds and address long term structural imbalances. The National Association of Counties (NACo), National Governors Association (NGA), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and other organizations representing public sector officials and employees recently published a joint report detailing the fiscal…

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Public-Private Partnerships Trending Beyond Toll Roads

The public-private-partnership model for public infrastructure and services, long centered on toll roads, is expanding. An article in Bond Buyer magazine discusses the growing trend of public entities using private capital and management to develop or oversee public functions - reaching well beyond the time-tested toll roads with which the model is most widely associated. From the article: As governments expand their use of P3s, they're also expanding their expertise on them. State and local governments…

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2019 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 policy in the 2019 General Assembly. Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo's Legislative Database. Public Work Contracts MACo opposed legislation that would have placed an undue burden on small and minority contractors. The legislation created administrative burdens, such as requiring the submission of specified safety plans during the bid process, that would have made it…

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House, Senate Pass MACo NG911 Initiative

The Maryland House of Delegates on Saturday overwhelmingly passed HB 397, Public Safety – 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System (Carl Henn’s Law), a 2019 MACo Legislative Initiative to update state laws and the 9-1-1 financing system to provide the flexibility and resources needed for the deployment of a statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) system. Earlier this month the Senate approved an identical Senate bill, SB 339. The House bill will need a pro forma vote in the…

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