Why the U.S. Farm Bill Matters to Counties – A NACo Guide

The 2023 U.S. Farm Bill reauthorization process can be complicated, but the National Association of Counties has a primer to walk county governments through the process and what to expect. The National Association of Counties (NACo) has provided a primer on the 2023 Farm Bill to break down its importance for county governments and step readers through the reauthorization process in an easy-to-read way.  Resources in the primer include highlights of programs of interest, a…

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Septics and Sewers Are Everyone’s Business at #MACoCon

Even more about staff retention and how it effects county governments - this time in septic and sewer infrastructure. Septic and sewer infrastructure is an incredibly pivotal piece of local government functions that has a cascading array of consequences when the people are not in place to make the process go. That is, by design, not a pun. At the MACo Winter Conference, we had a chance to hear from local and state leaders on…

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#MACoCon Attendees Explore How to Best Support Local Health Departments

At the 2023 MACo Winter Conference, attendees explored the vast roles of local health departments, their unique state-local infrastructure, and how county governments can best support them. Local health departments are a robust resource for citizens from clinics for routine care and addiction treatment to elder care services and safety classes for new parents. These teams of physicians, nurses, social workers, sanitarians, counselors, therapists and other allied health and support personnel are ready to help. At…

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Opioids and Pandemic Response Discussion Points To Workforce Concerns at #MACoCon

County health officials lead an hour long discussion on the current state of local health departments in the wake of the pandemic and amidst the opioid crisis.  The MACo Winter Conference was off to a great start with this panel featuring Dr. Laurence Polsky and Robert Stephens. Senator Clarence Lam, was an incredibly informed moderating as a doctor of preventative medicine himself and a leader in shaping the pandemic response in Maryland. While the meeting…

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Local Management Boards are Key County Players at #MACoCon

Local Management Boards are active in all 24 of Maryland’s counties and perform a variety of critical roles to support Maryland children and families. MACo Winter Conference attendees learned about these critical pieces of local infrastructure and why it's important to partner with them. Established in the 1990s, Local Management Boards (LMBs) are quasi-authorities of local government. LMBs empower local authorities to plan, implement, and monitor service programs for organizations that serve youth and families.…

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Severe Outlook for At-Risk Youth Behavioral Health Services in Maryland

From the Baltimore Banner to the Department of Legislative Services, serious issues might be ahead for children in need of both social and behavioral services as Maryland begins the 2023 General Assembly. This article is part of MACo’s Policy Deep Dive series, where expert policy analysts explore and explain the top county policy issues of the day. A new article is added each week – read all of MACo’s Policy Deep Dives. It has been widely…

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Brookings: MD Approach to Local Children/Family Services is a Model

A report from the Brookings Institution, Budgeting to Promote Social Objectives - a Primer on Braiding and Blending, highlights the intergovernmental and interdisciplinary approach in Maryland among its models for successful delivery of family services. Learn about county-level Local Management Boards at MACo's Winter Conference. From the Brookings website: In “Budgeting to promote social objectives – A primer on braiding and blending”, Stuart Butler, Marcela Cabello and Timothy Higashi describe examples of the many ways…

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Top Issues of 2023 Session: Public Health Modernization and Funding

Elected officials embark on the 2023 legislative session to consider local health department funding that is consistent with a 15-year old, pre-opioid, pre-pandemic budget. Public health funding and resources have long been a legislative priority of MACo. But now, in the wake of the pandemic, it seems the attention might finally be in place to move the legislative needle. In the 2022 Issues Paper published by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS), there are citations…

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$2.3M to Reduce Septic Pollution in Chesapeake Bay Critical Area

Funds approved to help protect the Chesapeake Bay from septic system contaminants. Yesterday The Maryland Board of Public Works in Annapolis approved more than $2.3M in grants to reduce pollution and improve water quality through upgrades to septic systems. Maryland Environment Secretary Horacio Tablada from the press release: These smart investments in upgrading septic systems will protect public health and prevent water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland communities across the state. Grants from…

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Learn How to Help Families with Health Coverage and Savings at #MACoCon

Join Maryland Health Connection at their Winter Conference Solutions Showcase to learn how your county can help families with health coverage savings. Maryland Health Connection is the marketplace for Marylanders to shop, compare, and enroll for health coverage. They also provide resources and answers to frequently asked questions like eligibility, financial help, and more. How to Help Families in Your Community Get Health Coverage and Access Savings Hosted by Maryland Health Connection A community with…

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