County and State Tax Incentives Combine in Biotech Investment Offer

Investors may reserve shares now for a program to receive 55% of their investment back immediately, thanks to State and Montgomery County biotechnology investment incentive tax credits.

The State of Maryland and county governments seek to build on Maryland’s strength in the biotech field for economic development and stability in the tax base.

One county has created a special tax credit program that combines with the Maryland’s Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit (BIITC) to provide refunds of 55% to investors funding Qualified Maryland Biotech Companies. The BIITC program, as described by the Department of Commerce, supports investment in seed and early stage biotech companies to promote and grow the biotech industry in Maryland.

As described by Montgomery County,

Montgomery County Biotechnology Investor Incentive Program, a supplemental grant available to investors in biotechnology companies located in the county. Automatically given to investors who receive the MD State tax credit.

Also, according to the Department of Commerce:

. . . [I]f a Qualified Maryland Biotech Company is located in Allegany, Dorchester, Garrett or Somerset Counties, 75% of the investment is eligible for the tax credit up to $500,000.​

Screenshot 2018-07-16 09.54.49.png
20/20 Gene Systems, an early stage cancer detection company, seeks support to build its company through Maryland and County-based tax credit investor programs.

The investment opportunity offered recently by GeneSystems, an early stage cancer detection company, is an example of a business seeking to take advantage of the tax incentive program to grow its company in Maryland.

From 20/20 Gene Systems:

Receive a 55% Refund on Investments of $50k or More in 20/20 GeneSystems
We’re excited to announce a compelling investment incentive available for investors in cancer detection startup 20/20 GeneSystems. Maryland’s Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit (BIITC) provides investors with refunds equal to 50% (plus 5% from Montgomery County, MD) of an eligible investment in 20/20 GeneSystems. The program supports investments in seed and early-stage biotech companies to promote and grow the biotech industry in Maryland.

For more information, see Maryland’s Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit (BIITC), or Reserve your spot in 20/20 GeneSystems.

The Maryland Association of Counties conference will feature a session on biotech business and the types of employment that the biotech field may bring to your county:

Anchor Your Local Economy with Biotech

The industry of biotechnology can help shore up a county’s economic development, creating health and wealth for local communities. Biotech, or the use of biological processes for industrial purposes (including the production of antibiotics and other disease-fighting medicines), may directly address health issues faced by your residents. At the same time, this emerging industry can create career-track job opportunities that set young professionals on a course to settle down in your county. In this session, hear about new developments in Maryland’s biotech community, including advancements that set Maryland upwind of other states in the biotech race. Learn how your county can attract biotech businesses and take advantage of the statewide biotech berth.


  • Mike Geppi, CEO, Timbre Tech
  • Tami Howie, Executive Director, Maryland Tech Council


Wednesday, August 15, 2018; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm


MACo Conference, Ocean City, Maryland

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


Baltimore City to Certify Hospitals Based on Opioid Care

“Levels of Care” initiative to categorize hospitals based on ability to treat opioid addiction and overdoses.

The Baltimore City Health Department will certify and classify all 11 of the city’s acute care hospitals based on their ability to provide care for opioid addiction and overdoses. Certifications will be released by December 2018 based on standards that were developed in partnership with the Maryland Hospital Association and other stakeholders.

The Baltimore Business Journal reports:

A three-level system will be used to assess a hospital’s capacity to prevent and treat overdose and opioid use. It will evaluate multiple factors, including a hospital’s ability to provide treatment to any patient — in the emergency department or elsewhere — who screens positive for addiction; distribute overdose-reversal drug naloxone to patients at risk of overdose; connect patients with peers who in recovery from addiction; and ensure physicians are prescribing opioids carefully, in line with specific guidelines. A hospital can be level 3, 2, or 1, with a level 1 hospital offering the most comprehensive approach.

The health department launched this initiative in an effort to expand addiction treatment in the face of the ongoing opioid crisis.

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Business Journal.

One unfortunate consequence (of many) brought on by the opioid crisis is the dramatic rise in substance exposed newborns (SEN). SEN are babies that test positive for a controlled drug or show symptoms of withdrawal from prenatal exposure. Learn more about what counties are doing to protect our most precious and vulnerable residents at the MACo Summer Conference session, “Handle With Care: Substance Exposed Newborns,” scheduled for Thursday, August 16, 2018 from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


Good to the Last Drop: Keeping Your Water Clean

Ever wonder what keeps the water that comes out of your faucets clean? Or what happens to help clean after it goes down the drain? How does your water stay contaminant free? If so, the panelists at the MACo Summer Conference session, “Good to the Last Drop: Keeping Your Water Clean,” will help to answer those and other questions.

Title: Good to the Last Drop: Keeping Your Water Clean

Description: What do pharmaceuticals/drugs, lead, and human waste have in common? They all can—and unfortunately sometimes do—end up in our water systems! Public water systems are monitored for nearly 80 substances that are damaging to your health. Thankfully, whether it is through intricate county waste water treatment systems, regulations on home septic systems, or even simple education and outreach to residents, local governments have teams of professionals dedicated to keeping your water clean of pollutants and safe to consume or use. In this session, learn how local governments are working hard to protect your health and welfare by keeping your water clean of harmful toxins and contaminants and what you can do to help.


  • Clifford S. Mitchell, M.D., Director, Environmental Health Bureau, Maryland Department of Health
  • Leigh Broderick, L.E.H.S., Director, Environmental Health, Carroll County
  • Don Curtian, Director, Environmental Health, Anne Arundel County
  • John Holaday, CEO, Dispose Rx

Moderator: The Honorable Erek Barron, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Friday, August 17, 2018; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

China Trade War: What It Means for MD Counties

At midnight on Friday morning, the U.S. commenced a trade war with China: the U.S. levied 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. China immediately released a statement that the U.S. “violated [World Trade Organization] rules and launched the largest trade war in economic history to date,” and retaliated with equivalent tariffs on $34 billion worth of imported U.S. goods. President Trump has promised “to implement tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of imported Chinese goods within the month,” according to NPR.

What does this mean for county priorities?

The Trade War and the War on Opioids

It could significantly affect the war on opioids, and particularly fentanyl, according to Kaiser Health News (via Governing). U.S. experts generally consider China responsible for as much as 90 percent of the world’s supply of the dangerous drug, which is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and largely responsible for fatal opioid overdoses nationwide. From the article:

Though Chinese officials deny that most of the fentanyl or other opioid substances originate in their country, they have in the past cooperated with U.S. efforts to control the flow of fentanyl onto American soil.

If the tariffs become permanent, though, “it’s most likely going to have a negative effect on other areas” beyond trade, said Jeffrey Higgins, a former Drug Enforcement Administration supervisory special agent. “China could say ‘We are no longer going to cooperate with the United States on controlling these synthetic opioids,’” he continued.

County Landfills Feel The Strain

China’s new restrictions on waste imports are already taking a toll on county landfills and recycling programs. China has instituted a new “foreign waste” policy that essentially bans dozens of materials that can contain dirty or hazardous wastes. The ban includes contamination by food remnants. The ban is expected to affect state and local recycling programs throughout the United States, as China has been the largest importer of recyclable materials.

Solar Struggle

China’s previous announcement of reduced plans for new solar installations could also significantly affect counties’ programs to stimulate increased solar energy generation.

Hope You Like Edamame 

Finally, Maryland’s many farmers will likely also take a hit from the China trade war. Soybeans are an obvious example. Approximately 500,000 acres in Maryland are used to grow soybeans. In 2017, the U.S. exported more soybeans than any other agricultural product – and China bought nearly 60 percent of the American edamame. Guess what China will likely source from Brazil now? Soybeans.

Read more:

Governing: What a U.S.-China Trade War Could Mean for the Opioid Epidemic

NBC News: In Trump’s trade war, China takes aim at vulnerable counties

Bloomberg: Why Soybeans Are at the Heart of the U.S.-China Trade War

Maryland Agricultural Statistics

Duluth News Tribune: Cities scramble to rewrite rules on recycling after China restricts ‘foreign garbage’

Who Knew? Traffic Causes Diabetes

There is a strange new reason for county leaders to care about eliminating congestion and other contributors to traffic-related air pollution: it causes diabetes.

A new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health – the “largest of its kind,” cars and air pollutionaccording to The Atlantic – attributes 16 percent of the world’s diabetes cases to air pollution. According to the study, 8.2 million years of healthy life were lost in 2016 alone, globally, to pollution-linked diabetes.

The study controlled for obesity-related factors, “so it wasn’t the case that heavier people simply lived in more polluted neighborhoods and were also more likely to get diabetes,” according to  The AtlanticIt zeroes in on tiny particles known as PM2.5, The largest source of these – at least in the United States – are car and truck emissions.

Read the article here.


Rising Tides of Rural Health Care

When it comes to the delivery of health care one size rarely fits all. Each area of the state faces its own unique challenges.

At the MACo Summer Conference session “Rising Tides of Rural Health Care” learn how rural communities across the state are thinking outside the box to address health care issues.

Title: Rising Tides of Rural Health Care

Description: Of Maryland’s 24 counties, 18 are considered rural and cover a population of over 1.6 million. These rural counties (and rural areas of urban counties) have unique challenges and vulnerable populations with needs that can be vastly different than those seen in their more urban counterparts. There are exciting, emerging opportunities to transform the framework for rural health care through new partnerships, innovative funding methods, and inventive means of delivering services. In this session, learn more about the future of rural health in Maryland.


  • Lara Wilson, Executive Director, Maryland Rural Health Association (MRHA)
  • Dr. Joseph Ciotola, Health Officer, Queen Anne’s County
  • Mark Luckner, Executive Director, Community Health Resource Commission
  • Simone Bratton, Medicaid, Maryland Department of Health (MDH)
  • Charlotte Davis, Executive Director, Rural Maryland Council

Moderator: The Honorable Mary Beth Carozza, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Friday, August 17, 2018; 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

White House Releases Government Reform Proposal

On Thursday, the White House released a 132-page report detailing specific opportunities for reform of the Federal government. The comprehensive report lists 32 recommendations for organizational realignments, reassignments, consolidations, privatization of certain government services, disposition of government-owned assets, technology upgrades, customer service improvements, process reform, and more.

The report contends to address the federal government’s inefficiencies. It does not make recommendations for reducing the federal workforce – another goal put forth by the Administration.

The federal government is bloated, opaque, bureaucratic and inefficient.

– Mick Mulvaney, Director, White House Office of Management and Budget

silhouettes-81830_1920The report, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations,”  comes out as most of the country focuses on immigration policy and reform. In fact, it appears few news outlets have picked up the report release at all.

But, Route Fifty did – with focus given to potential affects on local governments

One noteworthy change would shift the $3 billion community development block grant program, or CDBG, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to a new Bureau of Economic Growth under the Department of Commerce. …

The reorganization plan would also move the federal supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, out of the Department of Agriculture and into the Department of Health and Human Services, which would then be renamed the Department of Health and Public Welfare.

Other noteworthy recommendations include:

  • Merging the Departments of Education and Labor into one Department of Education and the Workforce
  • Moving the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Civil Works out of the Department of Defense (DOD) to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of the Interior (DOI)
  • Reorganizing the Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food Safety and Inspection
    Service and the food safety functions of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into a single agency within USDA
  • Merging the Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) National Marine Fisheries Service with DOI’s Fish and Wildlife Service, centralizing dam permit review
  • Selling specific transmission assets owned by the Department of Energy (DOE), and generally, focus on disposing unneeded or undesired federal real estate
  • Either wholly restructure the postal system or privatize it altogether
  • Reorganize the Department of Transportation
  • Limit federal support for home purchasing:

….ending the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reducing their role in the housing market, and providing an explicit, limited Federal backstop that is on-budget and apart from the Federal support for low- and moderate-income homebuyers.

Read the full report here.


Charles County Health Officer Dianna Abney Resigns

Photo Source: Charles County Government

Dr. Dianna Abney, who has served as Charles County’s Health Officer since 2012, will resign from office effective September 28, 2018.

From a Charles County news release:

“We are grateful for Dr. Abney’s service to our county’s residents and her dedication and commitment to making us a healthier Charles County,” stated Commissioner President Peter F. Murphy. “We wish her well and know she will remain an advocate for improving public health in our community.”

“I consider it an honor to serve as the health officer and am very committed to the health of our citizens,” said Abney. “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments our team has made during the time I have led the department. One of the highlights of my tenure as the health officer was opening the clinic in Nanjemoy and bringing medical care back to the people in the western part of Charles County.”

Read the news release for more information.

American Heart Association Recognizes Prince George’s Fire Department

Prince George’s County Fire Department receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Plus Recognition Award

The Prince Georges Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

According to a press release:

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

The Mission: Lifeline initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

“The Prince Georges Fire/EMS Department is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack and all patients that request our assistance,” said Fire Chief Benjamin M. Barksdale. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline.”

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient. We applaud our providers for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

Read the full press release for more information.

Handle with Care: Substance Exposed Newborns

The opioid crisis has generated an urgency to identify more effective and rapid interventions for substance abusing mothers and their babies that have been prenatally exposed. The implications of exposure are staggering, and have resulted in an increase in foster care rates and neglect cases that not only burden local county services but harm developing lives.

At the MACo Summer Conference session “Handle with Care: Substance Exposed Newborns” learn more about how counties are taking action earlier to save and care for some of our most vulnerable residents.

Title: Handle with Care: Substance Exposed Newborns

Description: One unfortunate consequence of the opioid crisis is the dramatic rise in substance exposed newborns (SEN). SEN are babies that test positive for a controlled drug or show symptoms of withdrawal from prenatal exposure. These children and their families can experience a variety of health and welfare problems that overburden county resources, resulting in a growing urgency to identify more effective and rapid interventions. In this session, learn more about recent federal and local action being taken to spur earlier intervention and care for substance abusing mothers and their substance exposed newborns.


  • Tiffany Rexrode, Assistant Director for Adult, Child, and Family Services, Washington County
  • Rebecca Jones-Gaston, Executive Director of the Social Services Administration
  • Jennifer Thomas, Staff Development Nurse Special Care Nursery and Pediatrics at Upper Chesapeake Health
  • Bethany Fisher, SEN Specialist, Harford County

Date/Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: