Carroll Approves Additional Funds for COVID-19 Relief

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners today approved additional funding for community partners providing relief to residents amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The commissioners also tentatively approved funds to establish a new small business assistance initiative to support businesses suffering amid the pandemic and help prepare for sales during holiday months. Funding comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and is currently unspent from the Carroll County Coronavirus Relief Fund Plan…

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Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty to DOJ Criminal Charges in Opioid Case

The pharmaceutical company has pled guilty to federal criminal charges and agrees to pay $8.3 billion in penalties. Purdue Pharma has settled with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on criminal charges from its role in the opioid epidemic. State and local lawsuits against the company remain in play. The Washington Post reports: Purdue Pharma agreed to plead guilty in federal court in New Jersey to three felony counts for defrauding the United States and…

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US Treasury Offers Latest Guidance on CARES Funds

The US Department of the Treasury, overseeing the use and distribution of federal CARES funds for pandemic relief, has issued a new set of guidelines for allowable uses of these funds, as the "use-by" deadline of December 30 approaches The updated guidance includes the following: Clarification on using CRF dollars for public university student refunds (tuition, room and board, meal plans, etc.) Clarification on using CRF dollars for real property acquisition and improvements and to…

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CARES Funding Available for MD Fishing Industry

Maryland to Provide $3 Million in Direct Assistance to Commercial Seafood Industry The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) this week announced that applications will be available on November 4 for economic relief funds for the commercial seafood industry through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application will be available to eligible members of the seafood industry on the Maryland…

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Congressional Reps Announce $50k for Western MD Ag Processing Study

Today, Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen along with Congressman David Trone announced $50,000 in funding for the Western Maryland Resources Conservation & Development Council to establish a feasibility study on the industrial hemp processing industry. Funding for the study comes from the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development partnership between federal agencies and 13 state governments. Their mission is to encourage community capacity and economic growth in the region. The study will examine…

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State Fiscal Leaders: Federal Stimulus Key to Economic Recovery

State fiscal leaders say significant economic volatility underscores uncertainty and call for direct and flexible federal stimulus funds. The Bureau of Revenue Estimates (BRE) today released alternative fiscal guidance showing the impact that a slower-than-anticipated labor market recovery would have on official projections unanimously approved last week. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Board of Revenue Estimates (BRE) last week unanimously approved revenue projections of $18.7 billion for FY 2021 and $19.7 billion for FY…

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Feds Grant MPT $100k for Educational Programs

Yesterday, members of Maryland's Congressional Delegation announced that Maryland Public Television will be awarded $100,000 in federal funding to develop personalized learning experiences for children in low-income communities. Funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready to Learn (RTL) Grant Program, and will help MPT increase early learning opportunities through public media, provide children with diverse resources, and support families, caregivers, and educators. From the press release: "Maryland Public Television connects hundreds of thousands…

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Frosh Opposes Proposal to Exclude Critical Habitat from Federal Protections

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is leading a multistate coalition in opposing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) proposal to establish a new process for excluding areas from critical habitat designations under the federal Endangered Species Act. The proposed process change would require FWS to consider excluding areas from designation as a critical habitat if a proponent presents credible information that supports exclusion. The AGs believe that this would require FWS to listen to…

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Congress Could Designate Southern Maryland as a National Heritage Area

Under a new bill introduced by Congressman Steny Hoyer, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's Counties would be designated as a National Heritage Area. The legislation, introduced last Thursday, would make the area eligible for $10 million in program funding with $1 million eligible for expenditure each fiscal year. National Heritage Areas are partnerships between the National Park Service, and state and local governments. Ownership of heritage areas remains with communities, and the National Park Service…

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