Federal Courts Reject MD Political Advertising Rules

A Federal appeals court has upheld a lower court decision that a 2018 Maryland law governing online political advertising is an unconstitutional limit on free speech. Maryland legislation governing online political advertising, passed in 2018 and enacted without the Governor's signature, has hit a major roadblock in federal court. The bill has not taken effect while online media companies challenge its legality, and the latest ruling upholds their view. The bill - SB 875 and…

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Experts Discuss Maryland’s Cannabis Conundrum at #MACoCon

The State's fiscal picture, and a pending commitment to substantial new education investments, has driven talk of authorizing new activities that carry substantial new revenue potential. Public health, social equity, local reinvestment, tax and license structures, and economic development remain at the forefront of the discussion as state lawmakers consider how to best foster the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry. And although leaders of the Maryland General Assembly’s Marijuana Legalization Workgroup recently…

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Hogan Names Gregory Slater as Transportation Secretary
Gregory Slater (photo courtesy: Maryland Manual)
Hogan Names Gregory Slater as Transportation Secretary

Governor Larry Hogan yesterday announced the appointment of State Highway Administrator Gregory Slater as secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation. Slater’s appointment, which will be subject to Senate confirmation, is effective January 10, 2020. “Greg Slater has committed his career to public service, and has earned a reputation around the country as an innovator who is tireless and relentless about transportation solutions,” Governor Hogan said. Slater will succeed Secretary Pete K. Rahn, who has…

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The Perfect Storm for County Budgets… Part Deux

A storm is brewing. Rising costs, sluggish growth, unfunded mandates, and greater demand for services all signal turbulent times ahead for county government budgets. Economic instability, shifting demographics, and the ambitious, multi-billion-dollar overhaul of Maryland’s education system only exacerbate the growing pressure on county budgets. At this year’s MACo Winter Conference, MACo’s Budget and Finance Affiliate hosted a panel discussion on the economy, best practices for planning, budgeting, forecasting, and strategies for how counties can…

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Preview the 2020 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 2020 – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS), the 2020 Issue Papers are an annual staple for the Annapolis policy-inclined population. They are also…

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Workgroup: Adult-Use Cannabis Legislation Not Ready for Prime Time in 2020 Session

The leaders of the Maryland General Assembly's Marijuana Legalization Workgroup have indicated that they will not be endorsing legislation legalizing recreational use of marijuana for the upcoming 2020 session. Rather, the group will continue to study and work through the remaining legalization issues for a possible path forward in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reports: “I think the consensus is: We are not recommending legislation this session to legalize adult use,” said Del. Kathleen Dumais, who…

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FCC Deals “Major Setback” to 9-1-1 Location Accuracy

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday adopted new rules designed to improve location accuracy for wireless 9-1-1 calls in multi-story buildings. The Order adopts a vertical -- or "z-axis" -- location accuracy metric of ±3 meters relative to the handset for 80% of indoor wireless 9-1-1 calls. According to the FCC, "This accuracy metric— within three meters above or below the phone—will more accurately identify the floor level for most 9-1-1 calls and is…

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Maryland Adds 10,700 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Ticks Down

Maryland added 10,700 jobs in October --  the second-most of any state, according to preliminary survey data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Maryland’s unemployment rate fell to 3.6% -- the lowest unemployment rate in over 11 years, according to the data. According to a press release: “Just over five years ago, our administration pledged to put more people back to work, grow the private sector, and turn…

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