Counties Ask Congress for Additional Funding to Administer and Secure Elections

The National Association of Counties' Elections Subcommittee sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee and Congressional leadership urging additional federal funding for counties to strengthen, protect, and secure the nation’s election system ahead of the 2020 election cycle. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Maryland's local election officials yesterday made a final appeal to the State Board of Elections to implement a series of recommendations to address concerns over a shortage…

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Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Urges Senate to Extend 2020 Census Deadline

Yesterday, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) wrote to U.S. Senate leadership urging them to extend the 2020 census deadline by four months to ensure a complete and accurate count. In their letter, the association asks for adequate funding to address challenges presented by the pandemic, and a four month extension to the statutory reporting deadline. COG urges the Senate to follow the House of Representative's lead and include an extension of the 2020…

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Cardin, Van Hollen: Feds Must Boost Support for First Responders on Front Lines of Pandemic

Amid unprecedented revenue shortfalls, first responders need federal funds to continue providing essential services, emergency preparedness. As Congress continues to negotiate the next federal COVID-19 relief package, Maryland U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin yesterday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to boost funding and provide more flexibility for local firefighter departments through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants and Assistance to Firefighter Grants…

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Join the NACo National Membership Call, Update on Federal COVID-19 Stimulus

Every Maryland County is a member of the National Association of Counties (NACo), and all Maryland County elected officials and staff are invited to join the NACo National Membership Call. WHAT? NACo is hosting a webinar for all NACo members. AGENDA: As negotiations between the House, Senate, and White House slowly get underway this week, NACo will provide the latest on a potential next package, its timing, and what counties can do to take action.…

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Census Bureau Will End Count Early

The U.S. Census Bureau yesterday announced that will end all counting efforts on September 30, one month earlier than originally planned. With roughly 4 out of 10 Maryland households yet to be counted, the bureau now has less than two months to ensure a fair and accurate count. https://twitter.com/msanderson_MACo/status/1290465564687835143 In April, the agency said it would need until October 31 to accurately count all American residents due to delays spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now,…

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Sen. McCray: If Federal Relief Fails, Brace For State Cuts

A State fiscal leader warns a failure to pass the still-in-negotiations federal relief bill could trigger severe budget cuts. As the white-hot speculation continues around the political will to reach a compromise on new and extended federal relief from the coronavirus pandemic, Maryland leaders fear that an inability to reach a deal could have dire local consequences. From coverage in the Maryland Reporter: “I do believe strongly that if we don’t get another stimulus injected…

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Revised CDC Isolation Times a Reminder for Non-Static HR Policies

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its guidance for determining when non-hospitalized individuals with COVID-19 may end home isolation and return to work. Previously, the CDC referenced a timeline of 14 days for employees to quarantine from the workplace after testing positive for COVID-19, new guidance is not a 'one-size-fits-all rule.' According to HR Dive, the updated guidance states that those with COVID-19 symptoms directed to care for themselves at home may…

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Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady as Economic Outlook Dims

The Federal Reserve today agreed to hold interest rates close to zero and continue buying Treasury bonds to support an economy badly battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The benchmark lending rate will remain between 0% and 0.25%, where it has been since March 15 in the early days of the pandemic. The surge in U.S. coronavirus cases is beginning to weigh on economic activity, but the central bank pledged to “do what we can, and for…

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Nominations Welcome for 2020-2021 NACo Policy Steering Committee Membership!

Do you want a voice in creating the national legislative policies of the National Association of Counties (NACo)? The nomination process for membership on NACo policy steering committees is underway! Consider filling out a NACo nomination form to be appointed to one of ten steering committees. If you are chosen as a NACo steering committee member, you would be responsible for debating and creating national policies and priorities affecting counties and serving on NACo’s front-line…

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