Baltimore County Announces Expanded Grants to Support Local Businesses

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced an expansion of the Commercial Revitalization Action Grant program in order to provided additional support for the County's small businesses during the pandemic. With the expansion, eligible business associations are now able to receive up to $30,000 in grant funding, rather than the traditional $10,000. This will allow business associations to increase their investment in neighborhoods during a time that many small businesses are struggling with lost revenue due…

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Community College First-Year Enrollment Hit Hard by Pandemic

In a study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, research shows that public community college enrollment has plummeted due to the pandemic. While first year enrollment for college has dropped by 16.1%, community college enrollment numbers have dropped by 22.7% and overall community college populations shrank by 9.4%. In 2019, colleges only saw a 0.4% decrease in enrollment. From the Washington Examiner: Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, told…

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Montgomery to Launch ‘Flash’ Bus Transit Service

Montgomery County will launch the County Department of Transportation's "Flash" buses this week that will run on a 14-mile service along Route 29 that spans from Burtonsville to Silver Spring. The Flash buses are "specially designed, 80-passenger capacity buses [that] will bypass other vehicles in certain locations and provide high quality and reliable transit service and amenities at the same price to ride as any other local bus." The Flash buses will have frequent service…

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MD Senate GOP Caucus Elects New Leadership

The Maryland Senate Republican Caucus on Saturday elected Senator Bryan Simonaire as Minority Leader and Senator Michael Hough as Minority Whip. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Senators J.B. Jennings and Stephen Hershey — the longest-serving leadership team in the history of the Senate Republican Caucus — last week announced that they would not seek re-election to their respective leadership posts. “We want to thank Senator Jennings and Hershey for their years of service to our caucus,…

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MD Unemployment Claims Soar in Past Week

According to data from the Maryland Department of Labor, unemployment insurance claims in Maryland nearly doubled last week. The Department released data stating that during the week ending October 3, there were 30,060 unemployment claims. The previous week, there were only 15,444. MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DIVISION OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE TOTAL CLAIMS FILED BY COUNTY Week Ending – OCtober 3, 2020 Claim Filed By:  Regular UI PUA (New) PUA (Reclassified)* PEUC Claims EB Claims Allegany…

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Hogan Announces Over $2.8M to Create and Expand Apprenticeship Opportunities

Governor Larry Hogan announced that the Maryland Department of Labor has awarded over $2.8 million in grant funding to assist businesses and organization in creating and expanding apprenticeship opportunities in Maryland. This $2.8 million is the third in a series of federal expansion grants that the Maryland Department of Labor has secured. The Department allocated $1.75 million of its State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant to create the Apprenticeship Innovation Fund (AIF) 2.0, which has successfully helped…

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Hogan Announces Court of Special Appeals Appointment

Governor Larry Hogan announced the appointment of Terrence Mark Ranko Zic to the Court of Special Appeals after interviewing nominees submitted by the Appellate Courts Judicial Nominating Commission. From press release: “The appointment of qualified individuals to serve across our state’s justice system is paramount to upholding our responsibilities to the people of Maryland and the rule of law,” said Governor Hogan. “I have confidence that Terrence Zic will continue to be a strong advocate…

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Administration Walks Back Proposal to Cut MTA Bus Lines, County Leaders React

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) has cancelled a proposal to permanently eliminate 25 MTA bus lines and reduce service on others and will instead reduce MARC and commuter bus service. Following heavy criticism, administration officials canceled a proposal to cut MDOT MTA bus service in the Baltimore region next year, and instead will offer reduced service for the agency's commuter buses and MARC trains, beginning in November. As previously reported…

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U.S. Ed Dept & OCR: Schools May Prioritize Special Needs Students When Reopening

After the United States Department of Education reminded schools of the obligation to provide special education services and uphold civil rights laws no matter if students are learning in-person or remotely, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) stated that schools may not prioritize in-person learning opportunities for students based on race, national origin or color - but may prioritize in-person instruction for students with disabilities based on their individual needs. The guidance documents were released…

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U.S. Dept of Ed Not Expected to Appeal in CARES Funding Lawsuits

After multiple lawsuits were filed against the United States Department of Education and the Department's Secretary Betsy DeVos on controversial rule sending CARES funding to private schools, DeVos states that the department will not appeal courts' decisions, which ruled against the interim final rule. As previously reported on Conduit Street, in late August, a federal court in Washington ordered a preliminary injunction against DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education to stop the implementation of…

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