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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Fitch Affirms Queen Anne’s County’s AAA Rating in Advance of Bond Sale

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Queen Anne's County's AAA bond rating in advance of an upcoming competitive bond sale. Fitch Ratings assigned an AAA rating to the following Queen Anne's County, MD general obligation (GO) bonds: $7.8 million public facilities bonds of 2022 (tax-exempt) $14.175 million taxable refunding bonds of 2022 Proceeds from the tax-exempt improvement bonds will finance the costs of certain buildings, facilities, equipment, and grounds. Proceeds from the taxable bonds will go towards…

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Baltimore County Earns Three AAA Bond Ratings

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced that the County maintained its triple-A bond ratings from all three major rating agencies, allowing the County to continue issuing bonds at the lowest possible interest rate-saving millions of dollars for County taxpayers. Moody's Investor Service, Fitch Ratings, and S&P Global Ratings reaffirmed the County's triple-A rating, making Baltimore County one of only 49 counties nationwide to receive the highest rating from all three agencies. According to a County…

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Moody’s Upgrades Anne Arundel’s Bond Rating to AAA

Moody's Investors Service today upgraded Anne Arundel County's bond rating from Aa1 to AAA. Today marks the first time the County has received an AAA rating from Moody's, one of the three major credit rating agencies. The rating keeps borrowing costs low for capital projects and reflects the County’s sound fiscal policies, prudent long-range planning, and robust economy. "This upgrade is the result of a plan that I put in place three years ago to…

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Proposed Procurement Overhaul A Poor Fit for County Contracts

On March 8, 2022, Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified before the House Health and Government Operations Committee in opposition to HB 1353 - Omnibus Procurement Reform Act ("OPRA") of 2022. This bill would place county contracts involving any state funds at all beneath a variety of state procurement rules, and subject them to a peculiar appeals process where the county may only defend itself that its actions were "fiscally necessary" by a very high standard of…

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