Walking the Agritourism “Tightrope” at #MACoCon

Agriculture remains a key economic driver for the state of Maryland, but like all successful businesses, agriculture is evolving with the times. Agritourism now plays an increasingly important role in the long-term profitability of agriculture, especially for small- to mid-sized farms. However, while most counties have attempted to embrace agritourism, its diverse and sometimes vague nature poses a variety of regulatory challenges – from zoning and building code requirements to health and sanitation issues. Even…

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Discover Maryland’s Clean Energy Future (and What It Means for Counties) at #MACoCon

Get the information you need about Maryland's plans to transition to "clean energy" and what it means for your county at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference. Keeping Clean Energy Green Energy Description Maryland has embarked on a path toward more and more clean energy sources. With the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019 and Governor Hogan’s call for a 100% clean energy goal, our state must now navigate through the various benefits…

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State Launches New E-Procurement System

The Maryland Department of General Services' Office of State Procurement this week launched eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA), the State's new e-procurement system. The network features state-of-the-art procurement technology powered by the Ivalua Platform, a global leader in procurement technology. General Services partnered with Nitor, a procurement services firm focused on spend management, to oversee implementation efforts of the new system. eMMA will allow buyers to collaborate with vendors from the bidding and contracting process all the…

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Learn How Implied Preemption Can Limit Your Local Authority at #MACoCon

Think you have local authority to regulate in a policy area because state law is silent on the issue? Think again because a court may find you have no authority under the legal doctrine of "implied preemption." Learn about implied preemption, including two recent high profile court decisions on solar siting and pesticide regulation, at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference. Don't Be Tempted to Be Preempted Description The state can pass laws to preempt local…

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Governor Hogan Announces New Deputy Chief of Staff
Diane Croghan (photo courtesy of Linkedin)
Governor Hogan Announces New Deputy Chief of Staff

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of Diane Croghan to serve as deputy chief of staff in the Office of the Governor for labor, housing, education, human services, and health matters. Croghan succeeds Tiffany Robinson, who the governor recently appointed to be Maryland’s next secretary of labor. A veteran of county government, Croghan served as chief of staff to former Anne Arundel County Executive Steven R. Schuh from 2014-2018. According to a press release:…

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Feds Award $125M to Expand Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Maryland will receive $125 million to help rebuild the nearly 125-year-old Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore. The funding, part of the federal INFRA (Infrastructure For Rebuilding America) Grant Program, will allow the state, in partnership with CSX, to double-stack shipping containers in order to break the rail bottleneck before the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore. According to a press release: “For years, our administration has pursued funding for…

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Court of Appeals Holds Solar Siting Decisions Are Made by the State, Not by Local Zoning

The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled that local land use is impliedly preempted by the state over the siting of large solar facilities. The Court's decision in Board of County Commissioners of Washington County, Maryland v. Perennial Solar, LLC, means that the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has the final say on the location of solar projects that require a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the PSC. The CPCN requirement applies…

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Summer Reader? Grab a MACo Classic from the Archives.

In addition to weekly updates on happenings in Maryland's counties and an ever-shifting set of policy areas, during the break from the legislative session, MACo's blog regularly features several deep-dive research series on topics of perennial importance to county governments.  Over the years, the contributors to MACo's blog have assembled the following series. Whether you are catching up on your reading this summer, or simply need something to help you fall asleep at night, you…

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