Counties to Congressional Delegation: Keep Us In Mind

With a major wave of high-impact legislation under consideration by Congress, and the state and local effects of them drawing substantial attention from counties across the state, MACo has sent a letter to the Maryland congressional delegation. The essential message: keep county governments, and other Maryland specific impacts, in mind as you consider these many weighty measures. MACo's letter, approved by the Legislative Committee during its meeting this week, discusses potential effects of the proposed…

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New Federal Administration May Propose Sharp Cutbacks

The incoming Trump Administration apparently is developing a range of policy proposals to curtail federal spending and agencies - some of which may have effects both on stat and local governments directly, and on the federal and federal-dependent workforce. Both areas of consequence could be substantial for Maryland and its economy. From reporting in The Hill: Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s…

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Businesses Express Relief With Approval of Federal Budget Deal

Organizations representing Maryland's federal installations and businesses expressed relief after a two-year budget deal was struck in Congress last week. The deal will lift spending caps previously approved by Congress and raise the federal government debt limit. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, "To know that there's a budget deal and that we have that behind us … is for a lot of us a feeling of relief," said Jill McClune, president of the Army…

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Washington Region Collaboration Encouraged to Combat Effects of Sequestration

To combat the effects of federal sequestration, business leaders in the Washington region are urging government officials to compete less and work collaboratively to create jobs and grow the area's economy.  As reported by the Washington Post, A historic slowdown in federal spending — caused largely by the mandated budget cuts known as sequestration — has taken a bite of $11 billion a year in government contracts out of the area’s economy and forced local companies…

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US Senators, White House Interested in Lifting Federal Spending Caps

As reported in The Hill, a group of Republican and Democratic senators are seeking to remove budget ceilings on defense and non-defense spending next year.  The budget caps were placed on agencies during sequestration in 2011. GOP defense hawks have long protested the sequestration budget ceiling for the Pentagon and some are now warming to the idea of dealing with the cap for non-defense domestic programs. In the midst of the Ebola crisis last fall, for…

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Mikulski Protects Maryland In Federal Spending Plan

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee negotiated a $1 trillion bi-partisan spending bill late Monday that would keep the federal government running for most of this year while directing hundreds of millions of dollars to Maryland interests, according to the Baltimore Sun.  Maryland counties have especially strong economic ties to the federal government because many federal employees and several federal agencies call our counties home. Senator Mikulski spoke out…

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State Taps Reserves To Offset Sequestration

As reported by the Washington Post, Governor O'Malley announced that funds set aside in the fiscal 2014 budget to mitigate the effects of sequestration have been tapped into to cover shortfalls in social programs. From the article: O’Malley said the beneficiaries of the $9 million will include nearly 500 low-income children who will be able to participate in Head Start; about 3,000 adults who will receive food through Meals on Wheels; 2,500 seniors who will…

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Head Start Programs Cut Back in Maryland, Elsewhere

Recent data on the effects of federal sequestration have been released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, showing an effect in service delivery in Maryland. According to coverage in the Baltimore Sun (limited free views available): Newly released numbers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tell a bittersweet story: Federal sequestration spending cuts had a smaller impact on Maryland's Head Start early childhood education program than expected, but they…

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Federal Cuts Weaken Justice System

As described by the New York Times editorial board, while its impact may have been stymied elsewhere, sequestration is causing real damage to the American justice system. The $350 million reduction in the federal judiciary’s budget for fiscal 2013 has resulted in a roughly 8 percent cut to the network of high-quality federal defender offices across the country. It has forced the layoffs of many experienced lawyers who have devoted their professional careers to the…

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Maryland Airports Secure Funding Through 2014

As reported in the Herald-Mail, federal funding announced Monday ensures that federally-contracted air traffic control towers, like the tower at Hagerstown Regional Airport, will remain open through September 2014. Funding had been set to expire at the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30, putting contract towers at five Maryland regional airports in danger of being shut down. In addition to Hagerstown, the other four airport towers slated to close due to the…

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