Sun Previews Session “Major Issues”

The Baltimore Sun released a preview of major issues facing the General Assembly for the 2021 Session, including police reforms, education, sports wagering. With the 2021 reconvening of the Maryland General Assembly afoot, Maryland's top newspaper covers a range of issues expected to gather attention and ink in the weeks ahead. Unsurprisingly, police reforms are on that list, as many states have responded to calls for social justice in policing tactics and accountability. The legislature…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: COVID-19 Response and Relief

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we look at the state-level responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the many effects across Maryland. 2020 was marked, globally, by the outbreak of a pandemic - a novel coronavirus that has cost thousands of lives, and has undermined normal activity for most people. With vaccines hopefully in sight, policymakers face…

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MD General Assembly Posts Pre-Filed Bill List

The Maryland General Assembly Senate and House pre-filed bill lists are now available on the General Assembly website. Although the list of pre-file bills are available, there is no bill text at this time. Currently, readers are able to view the bill title, sponsor, and committee assignment. As of today, there are 780 total House and Senate pre-filed bills and resolutions listed on the website. This will be updated to reflect updates on the General…

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Natasha Mehu to Lead Baltimore City’s Annapolis Offices

Mayor Brandon Scott Has Named Natasha Mehu, Longtime MACo Staffer, to Lead Office of Government Relations Natasha Mehu, familiar to the MACo family as a six year member of the Association's policy team, will continue her policy work in Annapolis, leading the Office of Government Relations for new Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott. From the Mayor's full press release: Mayor Brandon M. Scott is announcing another top position in his administration this morning: the selection…

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Hogan to Biden-Harris Transition Team: Prioritize Stimulus, Infrastructure, Bay Restoration

In a letter to the Biden-Harris transition team, Governor Larry Hogan stressed the importance of additional federal COVID-19 relief funding, a significant investment in public infrastructure, and safeguarding the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Federal COVID-19 Stimulus Relief Hogan is urging the president-elect to prioritize a new stimulus relief package for states, local governments, and small businesses struggling to weather the COVID-19 crisis. “My first priority for the citizens of Maryland continues to be a…

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State: CARES Deadline Approaching, Have a Plan, Look to PPE

The State Secretaries of Budget and Health issued a letter to county leaders - noting the approaching federal deadline for the use of coronavirus relief funds under the CARES Act, and suggesting steps toward ensuring compliance and promoting service to Marylanders. State Budget Secretary David Brinkley and Health Secretary Robert Neall, whose agencies have been cooperativelyoverseeing the CARES funding program through 2020, have issued direction to counties in the waning weeks of the year -…

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Counties Partner with State, Federal Officials to Ensure Safe & Secure Election

As early voting kicks off today across Maryland, counties are working closely with state and federal partners to maintain the integrity of state and local election systems and data. “Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and it is our shared responsibility to ensure Marylanders are able to cast their vote safely and securely,” said Governor Hogan. “Over the last several weeks, we have been engaged in planning exercises with our federal partners to discuss…

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FAA Announces Drone Line-of-Sight Waiver for Public Safety Agencies

Public safety agencies that operate drones can now apply for a beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In the past, public safety agencies have always had to maintain a visual line of sight when operating unmanned aircraft (UAS). Recognizing the need to support public UAS operators acting in an active first responder capacity, the FAA last week announced the “First Responder Tactical Beyond Visual Line of Sight” (TBVLOS)…

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MoCo Private Schools Debate Heading to Federal Courts

Following a week of back-and-forth regarding the authority to allow or deny private schools to re-open for in-person classes, the dispute between Montgomery County and the State of Maryland appears to be headed to the federal courts. In a predictable turn following several days of salvos, the matter of approving (or denying) private school in-person education in Montgomery County appears to be headed to federal court. The County, whose public schools will be remote offerings…

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Maryland Joins Multistate Pact to Expand COVID-19 Antigen Testing

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam today announced a major bipartisan interstate compact with the Rockefeller Foundation to expand the use of rapid point-of-care antigen tests to slow the spread of COVID-19. By banding together, the states are demonstrating to private manufacturers that there is significant demand to scale up the production of these tests,…

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