OP-ED: Cities and Counties Embrace a Local Path Forward for 5G, Reject Preemption

In an op-ed piece in  The Daily Record's Annapolis Summit 2020 MACo and MML highlight how cities and counties across the state are providing a path forward for 5G small cells on a local level and why statewide preemption bills are not needed: Maryland’s cities and counties are 5G ready! Nearly 50 jurisdictions in Maryland have already enacted local ordinances or regulations governing small cells, and dozens more are pending. In fact, thousands of small…

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Attention! Rural Broadband Infrastructure Funding Opportunities Available

The Governor's Office of Rural Broadband and the Department of Housing and Community Development have announced the following funding opportunities for broadband projects in unserved, rural areas. Federal Application Assistance Provides grants for soft costs related to federal funding applications The local jurisdiction is the state applicant and partners with an ISP who is, generally, the applicant for the federal funding. Applications are due by December 15, 2019. Broadband Expansion Pilot Grant Program Meant for…

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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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Baltimore County Announces Zoning Request Dashboard

Baltimore County’s Department of Planning has launched a new interactive web dashboard displaying zoning issues raised during the 2020 Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP), making the process more accessible to county residents. “Since taking office, my administration has made it a priority to make county services more accessible and transparent,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “The Comprehensive Zoning Map Process is a critical step in determining land use and planning for  our county, and we’re committed to…

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Local Election Officials Can Get Free Post-Election Auditing Tool from the Feds

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is offering state and local election officials free access to post-election auditing software ahead of the 2020 elections. The tool, known as Arlo, is being created by VotingWorks, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to building secure election technology. According to Route Fifty: “Heading into 2020, we’re exploring all possible ways that we can support state and local election officials while also ensuring that Americans…

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Interactive Map Lets Harford Residents Track Transportation Projects

It is unquestionable that local governments – and, specifically, counties – maintain the lion’s share of the state’s roads and bridges. Unlike most other states, in Maryland, local governments own and maintain 83% of the roads. Harford County maintains more than 1,000 miles of roadways - the equivalent distance from Bel Air to Florida - and 223 bridges requiring dozens of major repair projects each year. In order to keep residents up-to-date on the latest…

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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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Report: Election Vendors Need More Federal Oversight

The private vendors that manufacture voting equipment and build and maintain voter registration databases lack federal oversight despite the critical role they play in U.S. elections, leaving America's election infrastructure vulnerable to attack, according to a new report. The report, published by the Brennan Center for Justice (BJC), calls on Congress to establish a framework for federal certification of election vendors. The BJC notes that this could be developed as a voluntary program, similar to how…

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