Prince George’s, NAACP File Suit Against U.S. Census Bureau

The NAACP and Prince George's County have sued the U.S. Census Bureau on the grounds that the agency's preparations have been insufficient for the 2020 census. From WBAL: The civil rights group and Prince George’s County, a majority African American county in Maryland, filed the lawsuit last Friday in federal court in Maryland. It claims the Census Bureau wasn’t planning to put enough workers in the field and hadn’t opened up a sufficient number of…

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Trump Administration Announces Big Changes to Environmental Rules

Thursday morning President Trump announced new rollbacks to decades-old environmental regulations that require impact assessments for large public works projects such as pipelines, major roads, and water infrastructure. The move could have a strong effect on the number of projects approved. The environmental changes will apply directly to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which the Trump administration believes is unduly decelerating the rate at which large projects are approved. "Project sponsors and ordinary Americans…

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Webinar Jan 14 — Preemption: Opportunities and Challenges for Local Public Health

Topic Policy, Partners, and Preemption: Opportunities and Challenges for Local Public Health Local public health policy can have a positive impact on the health of the community, creating healthier conditions for living through everything from water fluoridation to tobacco use to minimum wage laws. But did you know that state governments can limit – or even eliminate – the impacts of locally developed policies? Fortunately, options for local public health partnerships are available to manage…

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New Jersey to Have Adult Use Marijuana on State’s 2020 Ballot

New Jersey lawmakers have approved putting adult-use cannabis before state voters on the 2020 ballot. The measure passed with a supermajority of the State Senate and Assembly. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports: In recent polls, 60% of New Jersey’s voters indicated they favored legalizing cannabis for recreational use. If approved by the voters, New Jersey would become the 11th state, along with the District of Columbia, to legalize recreational marijuana. .. If voters approve the referendum…

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Taking the Pulse of Maryland’s Emergency Medical Services at #MACoCon

When the ambulance shows up, the experts take over. But what happens behind the scenes to maintain Maryland’s top-notch emergency medical services? At the MACo Winter Conference session, "Vitals? Check: Taking the Pulse of Maryland's Emergency Medical Services," an expert panel provided an overview of the challenges and best practices for ensuring the highest level of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Maryland. The session was hosted by MACo's Emergency Managers Affiliate. https://twitter.com/KKinnally_MACo/status/1202303495044501505 The panel speakers…

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Smart Growth Subcabinet Answers County Questions at #MACoCon

Counties received updates on a wide array of key policy issues at the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference during the "A Chat with the Smart Growth Subcabinet" panel on December 4. The Smart Growth Subcabinet oversees and advises on Maryland’s growth policies and laws. During the panel, its members provided updates on land use, environmental, housing, economic development, and transportation issues chosen by county elected officials and staff.   Issues covered by the Subcabinet included:…

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Improving Census Participation Means More $$$ at #MACoCon

Attendees to the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference learned about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and how to achieve higher participation rates among undercounted communities during the "2020 Census: The Foundation of Our Future" panel. The paenl was held on December 4. Maryland Secretary of Planning Robert McCord explained the importance of the census to state and local funding and how census data is used. McCord highlighted how the Maryland Department of…

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Diversity Caucus Spotlights 2020 Census at #MACoCon

The Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus (Diversity Caucus) held its annual reception at the Winter MACo Conference. The topic of the evening was the importance of the 2020 census and accurately counting hard to reach populations. Prince George's Council Member Deni Taveras talked to attendees about how inaccurate counts -- under or over -- can have significant impacts on funding and investments of county programs for the next decade. She also discussed the steps being…

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Workgroup: Adult-Use Cannabis Legislation Not Ready for Prime Time in 2020 Session

The leaders of the Maryland General Assembly's Marijuana Legalization Workgroup have indicated that they will not be endorsing legislation legalizing recreational use of marijuana for the upcoming 2020 session. Rather, the group will continue to study and work through the remaining legalization issues for a possible path forward in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reports: “I think the consensus is: We are not recommending legislation this session to legalize adult use,” said Del. Kathleen Dumais, who…

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Clean and Green: Charting Maryland’s Energy Future

A general session at MACo's upcoming Winter Conference will focus on clean energy, and all the opportunities and challenges that come with our commitment to embrace and harness it. Title: Clean and Green: Charting Maryland’s Energy Future Time: Wednesday, December 5, 9:00 - 10:15 am Description: Maryland’s energy paradigm is shifting away from reliance on fossil fuels and towards renewable (solar and wind) and zero-carbon (nuclear and hydro) power sources. This transformation will require changes…

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