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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Solar Siting Preemption Case Now Precedent

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has now released a precedent-setting opinion, Board of County Commissioners of Washington County v. Perennial Solar, LLC, which holds that the state can preempt local zoning when granting approval for the siting of a large scale solar project. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Court issued a decision in late August which held that state law allows the Public Service Commission (PSC) to preempt by implication the zoning of…

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Maryland Attorney General Race: Four More Years For Frosh
Attorney General Brian E. Frosh
Maryland Attorney General Race: Four More Years For Frosh

Brian Frosh (D) captured a second term as Maryland's Attorney General, defeating his opponent Craig Wolf (R) in a strong showing.  Frosh captured 1,347,078 votes (64.0%) to Wolf's 755,073 votes (35.9%). Frosh is Maryland's 46th Attorney General and started his first term on January 6, 2015. Prior to that, Frosh served in the Maryland General Assembly for 28 years, including as chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee for 12 years. Frosh campaigned on consumer…

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Preemption, PIA, and Public Safety Liability All Part of 2018 MACo Attorneys Conference

County Attorneys, legal, and legislative staff are invited to attend the MACo Attorneys Conference on November 14, 2018, to as they discuss the Public Information Act (PIA), preemption issues, public safety liability, the Open Meetings Act, and the new terrain for the General Assembly and Administration post-election. The conference is open to county attorneys, their legal staff, and county legislative staffers. There is no cost to attend but registration is required – please register online.…

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Maryland Court Rejects Exelon’s Conowingo Dam Lawsuit

A Baltimore Sun article (2018-10-11) reported that a Baltimore Circuit Court judge has rejected Exelon's lawsuit against the state of Maryland over proposed requirements for the Conowingo Dam. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Exelon has appealed the State's water quality certification requirements, which is needed as part of the dam's federal relicensing process, both administratively and judicially. The article stated that Judge Pamela White ruled that Exelon must first exhaust its administrative remedies before appealing to Maryland's courts.…

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Board Bumps Up Revenue Projections $400 Million for FY 20

The Board of Revenue Estimates voted today to write up the revenue projections for the State of Maryland for Fiscal Year 2019 by $325 million, representing a 4.1 percent increase over prior estimates. The Board also unveiled the first official estimates for fiscal year 2020, which is projected to be $18.7 billion, representing a 3.3 percent increase over fiscal year 2019 and a $407 million increase over the prior planning numbers. See the Board's report,…

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Maryland Plans to Sue Trump Administration After EPA Denies Air Emissions Request

A Baltimore Sun article (2018-09-17) reported that Maryland will challenge a recent decision of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denying Maryland's request for limitations on coal plant emissions from upwind states. EPA's decision marks a setback in the Maryland Department of the Environment's efforts to curb significant amounts of ozone pollution that migrates from other states. An estimated 70 percent of Maryland's ozone pollution originates in other states. In response, Maryland petitioned EPA under the…

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Court of Special Appeals Hears Montgomery Pesticide Preemption Case

A panel of Maryland Court of Special Appeal judges will determine whether state law preempts counties from regulating pesticide applications after hearing oral arguments in the case of Montgomery County v. Complete Lawn Care on September 11, 2018. MACo and the Maryland Municipal League, concerned about the broader local preemption issues involved in the case, submitted an amicus brief to the Court of Special Appeals on June 21, 2018. The brief argued that local governments should…

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LGIT Offers Implicit Bias Training For Local Law Enforcement Members

A LGIT Leader article (2018-09 issue) reported that the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) has partnered with Dr. Kris Marsh of the University of Maryland to offer a one-day course on implicit bias for local law enforcement agencies. The course was developed after the release of the final report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing in May of 2015 that highlighted the importance of implicit bias training and education for law enforcement agencies. The…

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Special Appeals Court Holds PSC Preempts Local Zoning on Solar Siting

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals issued an unreported decision on August 28, 2018 that highlighted the complicated, multi-pronged test Maryland Courts use when determining when state law has prohibits local government regulation of a subject through implied preemption. Specifically, Board of County Commissioners of Washington County v. Perennial Solar, LLC held that state law allows the Public Service Commission (PSC) to preempt by implication the zoning of a local government when granting a certificate…

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