Hogan Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for Damages Caused by Tropical Storm Isaias

State Agencies, Three Counties Would be Eligible for Reimbursements Governor Larry Hogan today requested the White House issue a Major Disaster Declaration to assist communities impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias in August. The request, made through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Public Assistance disaster relief program, would provide financial assistance to Calvert, Dorchester, and St. Mary’s counties and state agencies for repairs to public infrastructure, and reimburse for measures taken to prepare for and…

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EPA Announces $18 Million for Projects in Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced over $18 million in grants for six states and Washington D.C. to support restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The grants were awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship fund, and with nearly $19 million in matching funds, the total impact rises to greater than $36 million. Grants were awarded to several Maryland jurisdictions for tree planting initiatives, tree canopy expansion, stormwater projects, and more. “EPA’s…

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IRS Issues Guidance Implementing President’s Payroll Tax Holiday

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Friday issued much-anticipated guidance on the payroll tax deferral that was ordered by President Donald Trump in a presidential memorandum earlier this month. According to Notice 2020-65, employers — including county governments — may defer Social Security payroll taxes on eligible employees’ compensation during the last four months of 2020 and then withhold those deferred amounts during the first four months of 2021. The president signed the memorandum on…

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Feds Award Baltimore County $1.6 Million to Fund Business Relief Loans

Loans will Help Offset Cash Shortfalls Resulting from COVID-19 Business Closures and Contractions Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced that the County has secured a $1.6 million CARES Act grant to provide low-interest loans to qualifying Baltimore County small businesses to help them recover from the sudden and severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are not only in the midst of a public health crisis, but an economic one, and government has…

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School Meal Distribution Could Suffer as Critical Programs End
eslfuntaiwan (CC0), Pixabay
School Meal Distribution Could Suffer as Critical Programs End

While the U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended a handful of meal waivers for the upcoming school year, some programs are ending September 30 and without flexibilities, could make hamper meal service distribution for students. The Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, combined with additional flexibilities, allowed most schools to open meal sites where families could pick up meals for children regardless of child's age or income status. Programs are due to end…

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MD Congressional Delegation Announces More Than $1 Million for Firefighters in Southern Maryland

Yesterday, Congressman Steny Hoyer along with Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen announced more than one million dollars in federal funding for firefighters and first responders in Southern Maryland. $576,562.77 will go to firefighters and first responders in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters program. An additional $493,500 in funding for Calvert County firefighters from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER)…

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Federal Judge Halts Controversial Rule Sending CARES Funds to Private Schools

In Washington, a federal court has ordered a preliminary injunction against United States Department of Education and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from implementing an interim final rule on distribution of CARES Act funding. The interim final rule, issued in June, gives districts the choice between poverty-based or enrollment-based formulas in their distribution of CARES Act funds for education. In choosing the poverty-based formula, districts would be required to fund only Title I schools while also…

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Federal Report Finds Correlation Between Increased Rents and Homelessness

The report from the GAO found a correlation between a median increase of $100 in rent and a 9% increase in homelssness. As concerns mount regarding COVID-19 related housing issues, a federal report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds rent increases to be a factor in the increase in homelessness in the majority of jurisdictions they studied. From Route Fifty: The report analyzed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's homeless population count,…

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Feds Release New Resources to Support Local Elections Officials

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) last week unveiled new resources to support local elections officials as they work to ensure a safe and secure general election amidst a public health crisis. The EAC's August update includes election-related Coronavirus resources, election security preparedness, and best uses for Help American Vote Act (HAVA) emergency funds made available under the CARES Act. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Governor Larry Hogan approved a State Board of Elections (SBE)…

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