MACo Supports Novel Approach to Address Septic System Pollution

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson yesterday testified in support of HB 878 Bay Restoration Fund - County Authority to Incur Indebtedness before the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill provides counties with an optional and flexible tool to make grants and loans to address septic system pollution. From the MACo Testimony: HB 878 authorizes a county to borrow money and incur indebtedness through the issuance and sale of notes in anticipation of the receipt of…

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MACo Requests Reasonable Flexibility for Short-Term Lease Notice Requirements

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin testified in support of SB 544 Charter and Code Home Rule Counties - County Property Leases - Notice Exemptions before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. This bill enables charter and code home rule counties to enter into leases without giving notice if the lease is not renewable and has a term of five years or less. From the MACo Testimony: The central tenet of the bill is sound…

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Davis Bill To Help OPEB Investment Trust Sails Through House

A bill introduced to assist MACo's OPEB Investment Trust has passed the House of Delegates. House Bill 378, sponsored by Delegate Debra Davis, has passed through the House of Delegates with  unanimous support. The bill was introduced to classify MACo's OPEB Investment Trust as a "local government" for liability purposes, which likely would save its participating counties and other governments on overhead costs with insurance. From MACo's testimony on HB 378: The more immediate case…

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MACo: Don’t Let Enterprise Zones “Die On The Vine”

On Febraury 18th, 2021 MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in opposition to HB 805 Economic Development - Enterprise Zone Program - Alterations. This bill creates alterations to the Enterprise Zone Program, which restrict its implementation and hinder its effectiveness. Mr. Sanderson cited the funding caps and moratorium on new site designations as "going to far," but indicated that the additional effectiveness and performance measures are all reasonable.…

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Hot Off the Press: DLS Guide to ‘Mother Lode’ of Local Government Financial Info

The Department of Legislative Services this week released a comprehensive reference guide to local government reports. These annual reports include data on government finances, aid to local governments, delivery of public services, and demographic indicators. As always, these documents -- designed to provide legislators, local officials, and the public with a better understanding of the fiscal and social issues confronting local governments in Maryland -- represent an extraordinarily valuable resource for county officials and financial…

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MACo Resists County Procurement Mandate

MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler yesterday testified to oppose SB 336 State and Local Procurement – Payment Practices before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. The bill would cut the payment window for county procurement contracts in half. From the MACo Testimony: SB 336 would require that counties change their procurement policies to issue payment to vendors within 15 days. Current law allows counties up to 30 days, and many need that time…

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Fitch Affirms Howard’s AAA Rating in Advance of Bond Sale

Fitch Ratings has assigned ‘AAA’ ratings to the following Howard County general obligation (GO) bonds: $123 million Consolidated Public Improvement Project Bonds, 2021 Series A $26.4 million Metropolitan District Project Bonds, 2021 Series B The GO bonds are backed by the County’s full faith and credit pledge and its unlimited taxing power. The bonds are scheduled to sell on a competitive basis on February 17, 2021. Proceeds will be used to reimburse the County for…

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Montgomery Council Considers Bill to Establish Revenue Estimating Group

The Montgomery County Council will consider a local bill to establish a Revenue Estimating Group, which would be responsible for providing the County with accurate and up-to-date revenue projections. According to the bill's lead sponsor, Council Member Andrew Friedson, this bill is "a best practice to build consensus and improve fiscal management." https://twitter.com/Andrew_Friedson/status/1356680042873503748 The Group would consist of staff members from Finance, Office of Management and Budget, Council Central Staff, Office of Legislative Oversight, and…

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Worcester County Forms Committee to Study Fire, EMS Issues

The Worcester County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to create a committee to tackle EMS and fire funding in the county. The committee will review options for the county's fire and EMS service, which has struggled in recent years to find funds to cover operations. Ocean City Fire Chief Richie Bowers spoke at the Commissioners' meeting on Tuesday, stressing that he was speaking on behalf of the fire companies as a unified group, as reported…

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MACo: Boost Support for Bureau of Revenue Estimates

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday testified in support of SB 314 Board of Revenue Estimates and Bureau of Revenue Estimates - Organization and Operations before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. This bill enables the Bureau of Revenue Estimates (BRE) to better process and relay data on fiscal analyses, state and local revenues, and economic trends. From the MACo Testimony: Counties rely on data from the BRE to craft budgets and make informed policy decisions.…

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