State to Distribute $198 Million in Small Business Relief

Maryland was the first state to submit a State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) deployment plan to the United States Treasury Department, and was one of the first five states to be approved. Maryland will allocate up to $198 million in federal small business relief through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). That federal initiative was established by Congress in 2010 to provide loans and investments to underserved small businesses. The SSBCI received a $10…

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State to Establish Office of Resilience

Legislation creating an Office of Resilience within the Maryland Department of Emergency Management goes into effect this October.  In response to the effects of climate change, Maryland will establish the Office of Resilience with the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM). This new office is the result of leadership from Senator Katie Fry Hester (Carroll and Howard Counties), Speaker Pro Sheree Sample-Hughes (Dorchester and Wicomico Counties), and Delegate Courtney Watson (Howard County); all of whom…

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Counties Celebrate EMS Week

Counties across Maryland are marking May 15th through the 21st to celebrate the importance of EMS and EMS personnel. Across Maryland, county leaders are celebrating May 15th through the 21st as (Emergency Medical Service) EMS Week. The celebration is meant to bring together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's frontline. This year’s Emergency Medical Services Week theme, “Rising to the Challenge,” highlights that…

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Suite of Strong Cyber Bills Signed Into Law

Governor Hogan signed multiple bills advancing cybersecurity resources, defenses, and partnerships - sealing a multi-year effort to create a stronger defense and response approach for this ever-increasing threat. Hackers are increasingly targeting states and local governments with sophisticated cyberattacks. Securing government information systems is critical, as a cyber intrusion can be very disruptive, jeopardizing sensitive information, public safety, and the delivery of essential services. These bills will help lead local governments, school systems, and critical…

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DC Regional Metro Names New General Manager

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) recently named Randy Clarke as its New General Manager and CEO. Earlier this week WMATA, which provides transit services for two of Maryland's largest counties, named Randy Clarke as its next General Manager and CEO. Randy Clarke, the current President and CEO of Capital Metro (CapMetro) in Austin, TX, will begin his new position at WMATA late summer and was selected following an exhaustive nationwide search, which included…

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REAL ID Deadline Around the Corner

Nearly 13% of Marylanders have yet to obtain a REAL ID as federal deadline of May 3, 2023 approaches.  If you’re planning to travel by plane this time next year, it’s time to get real about getting REAL ID ready. Marylanders now have less than a year to get a federally mandated REAL ID ahead of the May 3, 2023 deadline. As next May, all Marylanders 18 years of age and older must have documents…

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MDE Co-Hosts County Level CO2 Emissions Panel

MDE will co-host a panel (in-person and virtual) on June 1 that will highlight a new data tool for local governments to track CO2 emissions. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for Montgomery County, RMI, and Crosswalk Labs are pleased to invite you to a workshop to learn about A New Tool for Examining City and County Level CO2 Emissions. The tool, which is under development by Crosswalk Labs,…

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Justice Department Creates New Environmental Justice Office

US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland recently created a new Office of Environmental Justice.  Attorney General Merrick B. Garland was joined by EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan today in announcing a series of actions to secure environmental justice for all Americans. In addition to launching a new Office of Environmental Justice within the Justice Department, Attorney General Garland also announced a new comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy to guide the Justice Department’s work and issued an Interim…

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State PFAS Take-Back Program At Least 18 Months From Going Live

The Maryland Department of Environment's (MDE) PFAS take-back program is at least 18 months from becoming operational.  During this last legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed HB275, the George “Walter” Taylor Act. This bill effectively bans PFAS chemicals in firefighting foams and various other products. MACo worked with the bill sponsors to establish a $500,000 take-back program whereby the state would take possession of any remaining PFAS foam and dispose of it. The program…

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USDA Offering $5M in Grants for SNAP Modernization

Last week, the USDA began accepting applications for grants aimed at SNAP Modernization.  Last week the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) began accepting applications for the the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Process and Technology Improvement Grant (PTIG) Program. The SNAP Process and Technology Improvement Grants are awarded through a competitive application process. The multi-year grants seek to improve the experience of SNAP participants by enabling grantees to update inefficient or ineffective processes or use…

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