FEMA Denies State’s Disaster Assistance Request for Tornadoes, Flooding

The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Maryland's request for a disaster declaration for significant damage caused by the remnants of Tropical Depression Ida last month. The denial comes after Governor Larry Hogan requested federal aid for Anne Arundel County, Cecil County, and the City of Annapolis, each of which declared Local State of Emergencies for significant damage to commercial and residential areas caused by tornadoes and severe flash flooding. Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster…

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Federal Courts, Private Prisons, and Potential Conflict

A recent federal court case could have significant implications for legislatures seeking to limit or eliminate private detention centers across the country, including in Maryland. In The Geo Group, Inc. v. Newsom, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed a lower court's injunction preventing a private prison company from operating in California based on a state law, AB 32, that phases "out all private detention facilities within the state." The Court justified its…

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Maryland Smart Energy Communities FY22 Applications Now Open

The Maryland Smart Energy Communities (MSEC) program is now open and accepting applications for the more than $1.03 million available in Fiscal Year 2022. Existing MSEC communities and first-time applicants are encouraged to apply for the MSEC program administered by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). Funding may be used for energy efficiency, renewable energy and transportation projects. The deadline for submitting applications is November 12, 2021. From MEA: Now in its 10th year, the MSEC…

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Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s Want Bigger Bay Bridge

Officials from both Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s County are calling for a larger Bay Bridge as intense traffic becomes a regular issue.  In response to a growing need for congestion relief on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, both Anne Arundel County Council and Queen Anne’s County Council recently passed matching resolutions. These resolutions call for the state to upgrade the current bridge to one continuous structure with eight lanes. "'As the lead sponsor of the…

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State Labor Department Shares “Back to Work” Resources with Local Leaders

On a recent call with county and municipal leaders, Assistant Secretary of Labor Jim Rzepkowski reviewed a variety of programs and resources constituting a "back to work" effort for employers and workers across Maryland. During a bi-weekly call bringing together Administration and local government leaders, Assistant Secretary Rzepkowski spoke about a number of programs under the Department engineered to help accelerate job regrowth in the months ahead. The full presentation is available online as a…

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PA Set to Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Environmentalists on both sides of the Mason Dixon line are breathing a sign of relief as PA’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) voted to approve regulations required to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).   On Wednesday, the IRRC voted on a CO2 Budget Trading Program. This vote was one of the last steps in Governor Wolf’s push to bring the Commonwealth into RGGI and would help meet his plan to reduce state carbon emissions…

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Greater Baltimore Committee Highlights MACo’s Michael Sanderson

As a guest on the Greater Baltimore Committee's "5 Questions" series, Michael Sanderson lays out county successes and priorities for the session and year ahead. The Greater Baltimore Committee serves as the Baltimore region’s premier organization of business and civic leaders – has been a leading voice for the business community on issues relating to economic growth, job creation, workforce development, transportation and quality of life. Their "5 Questions" series spotlights area policy and political…

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Knapp to Serve as MDE Policy Advisor for Local Government Issues

MDE Hires Les Knapp as New Local Government Policy Advisor The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has hired former MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp as a new Senior Policy Advisor for county and municipal government issues. Knapp’s primary duties include: (1) advising MDE leadership on issues affecting local government; (2) improving MDE’s communication and relationships with local governments; and (3) serving as a point-of-contact and “ombudsman” for local governments that have issues…

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Infrastructure: Virtual Event with President Biden, Wednesday 3pm

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Event with President Biden Wednesday, August 11 3:00-4:00PM ET County officials are invited to join a virtual event with President Biden on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Wednesday, August 11 at 3:00PM ET. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes around $550 billion in new federal investment in America’s roads and bridges, transit, water infrastructure, resilience, broadband, and more. With the US Senate having just advanced…

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