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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Conduit Street Podcast: 2019 Session Preview

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.

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2019 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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Dollars & Sense: Building a Capital Budget at #MACoCon
Jennifer Ellin speaks at the MACo Winter Conference
Dollars & Sense: Building a Capital Budget at #MACoCon

Budgeting to maintain local infrastructure is an essential function of county government. You must understand your infrastructure needs and maintenance schedule, establish project priorities, and develop sustainable funding mechanisms. Attendees at the MACo Winter Conference session, “Dollars & Sense: Building a Capital Budget,” learned best practices for planning and financing capital projects to meet public infrastructure and facility needs. Jenifer Ellin, Director, Fiscal and Administrative Services, Charles County, provided an introduction to the capital budgeting…

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Montgomery, Prince George’s Earn Awards for Excellence in Government Finance

The Government Finance Officers Association- Washington Metropolitan Area (GFOA-WMA) chapter this week announced the 2018 Excellence in Government Finance award winners. The Montgomery County General Accounting Team and the Prince George's County Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement were honored for their innovative programs and contributions to the practice of government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management. According to a press release: The General Accounting Team of Montgomery County is honored for their hard work…

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Municipal Bonds After Tax Reform: Evolution, Not Revolution

Municipal Bond markets have seen changes after federal tax changes, but not as dramatic as had been feared. 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 their tax-free treatment during early stages of the federal debate. While that proposal was successfully resisted, limits on tax deductions and new taxation of advanced refunding…

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Preview the 2019 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in the year ahead – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative Services, the 2019 Issue Papers are an annual staple for the Annapolis policy-inclined population.…

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Conduit Street Podcast: Spending Affordability, Volatile Revenues, & a Touch of Kirwan

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: Spending Affordability Committee Briefing from the Maryland Department of Legislative Services Spending Affordability Committee - Technical Supplement Watch the Most Recent Meeting of the Spending Affordability Committee Maryland Reporter: Kirwan Commission…

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Finance Employees Are Fastest Growing Segment of Local Government Workforce

While most local governments haven’t been on hiring sprees lately, one area where they appear to be adding employees is finance, according to newly released data from the United States Census Bureau. According to Governing: The latest data from the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll shows that employees working in finance-related roles increased 5.4 percent between 2014 and 2017. While that might not be a big jump, it’s significant in that…

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Carroll Earns Three AAA Bond Ratings

Carroll County recently received the highly coveted AAA bond rating from all three of the major credit rating agencies. Moody's granted the county the highest possible rating, following the lead of FitchRatings and Standard & Poor's (S&P). The rating upgrade translates into a lower interest rate and reduced fees, saving valuable taxpayer dollars. According to a press release: The county will immediately feel the improved rating as it readies to finance a new $25M bond sale…

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