Biden’s Relief Plan Includes $350 Billion In Critical Aid for State and Local Govts

President-elect Joe Biden yesterday unveiled the details of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package that aims to speed up the vaccine rollout and keep the economy afloat amid the deepening COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal — entitled the American Rescue Plan — includes direct payments of $1,400 stimulus checks to qualifying Americans (bringing the total relief to $2,000), $350 billion in direct aid to state and local governments, an increase in and extension of federal unemployment…

Comments Off on Biden’s Relief Plan Includes $350 Billion In Critical Aid for State and Local Govts
EPA Invites New Applicants for Water Quality Improvement Loans

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced that 55 new projects from across the United States have been invited to apply for loans under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). Created in 2014, WIFIA is intended to help strengthen water infrastructure in the United States. This financial assistance program for clean and potable water is extremely popular, saving billions on utility bills and creating nearly 40,000 new jobs since 2018. The new…

Comments Off on EPA Invites New Applicants for Water Quality Improvement Loans
Montgomery Leverages CARES Funds to Offer Outdoor WiFi at Public Libraries

Montgomery County has leveraged federal COVID-19 funding to install outdoor public WiFi at several Public Library (MCPL) branches. This free service is available 24 hours a day in parking lots adjacent to the library buildings. As leaders in the fight against COVID-19, counties are expending federal relief funds to address immediate health, equity, and safety concerns, as well as to promote economic resiliency and recovery. From small business support grant programs to rental and mortgage…

Comments Off on Montgomery Leverages CARES Funds to Offer Outdoor WiFi at Public Libraries
Howard to Apply for EPA Loan for Safe & Sound Projects

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced that Howard County was selected to apply for a loan from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finance projects as part of the Ellicott City Safe & Sound plan. Howard County was selected to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funding from the EPA to finance the North Tunnel and other flood mitigation projects as part of the Ellicott City Safe & Sound…

Comments Off on Howard to Apply for EPA Loan for Safe & Sound Projects
State Reopens Newly Extended Federal Unemployment Programs

Governor Hogan last week announced that the Maryland Department of Labor has started to accept claims and issue payments for federal unemployment insurance programs that were extended under the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) unemployment insurance programs were recently extended by the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act. From the press release: “Just one week after the federal…

Comments Off on State Reopens Newly Extended Federal Unemployment Programs
NACo Announces Counties for Kids Campaign

The National Association of Counties (NACo) this month will launch Counties for Kids, a public awareness campaign for county leaders who are committed to making investments in young children from prenatal to age three. Through the initiative, counties have access to free resources, tools, and events on strategies for investing in the needs of young children. https://youtu.be/L-zFZJadWdg According to NACo: We encourage all county leaders to join the network of champions advancing PN-3 policies, programs…

Comments Off on NACo Announces Counties for Kids Campaign
New Stimulus Bill Extends Tax Credits, Paid Leave Mandate Expires

The president last month signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (H.R. 133), a $2.3 trillion spending bill that combines $900 billion in COVID-19 stimulus relief with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill for the 2021 federal fiscal year. Notably, the package also contains provisions related to the paid sick and family leave program authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (P.L. 116-127), which went into effect on April 1, 2020. The FFCRA was…

Comments Off on New Stimulus Bill Extends Tax Credits, Paid Leave Mandate Expires
IRS Issues Standard Mileage Rates for 2021

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued the 2021 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes. As of January 1, 2021, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups, or panel trucks) is: 56 cents per mile driven for business use, down 1.5 cents from the rate for 2020, 16 cents per mile driven for medical, or…

Comments Off on IRS Issues Standard Mileage Rates for 2021
Top Issues of 2021 Session: 5G Wireless and “Small Cell” Siting

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 preview the ongoing hot topic of "small cell" siting for fifth-generation (5G) wireless service - but note that the main decision-making has already taken place at the federal regulatory and judicial level. Wireless connectivity remains an important and growing part of the telecommunications infrastructure, and for relatively densely-built areas (mostly…

Comments Off on Top Issues of 2021 Session: 5G Wireless and “Small Cell” Siting
State Issues New CARES/CRF Guidance After Federal Bill Enacted
Courtesy of the Maryland Manual
State Issues New CARES/CRF Guidance After Federal Bill Enacted

The Maryland Department of Budget and Management has issued new guidance to counties regarding the uses and timing of federal funds issued through the CARES Act - notably an extension through 2021 for its continued use. With the federal relief legislation passed, and finally signed into law by the President, the final pieces of implementation (mainly at the State level) have fallen into place. Namely, the State has issued its revised guidance for the spending…

Comments Off on State Issues New CARES/CRF Guidance After Federal Bill Enacted
Close Menu