Conduit Street Podcast: Major Issues Mashup

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast. You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website. Useful Links Previous Conduit Street Coverage: $15 Minimum Wage Bill Heading to Governor Hogan Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Passage of Clean Energy Jobs Act Likely, But Maybe Not This Year Previous Conduit…

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Regional Schools Bill Moves with MACo Amendment

A bill that would allow school boards to create regional schools through local agreements has passed the Maryland Senate with a friendly amendment to clarify that county governments must also approve the agreements. Maryland county governments are partners in school construction with the State, together funding the many construction and renovation projects that support K-12 public education.   County governments are consistently open to innovative approaches to addressing student education needs and supported Senator Hester's…

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“Supercharged” School Construction – Pieces Falling into Place

A new way to spend $2.2 billion more school construction funding is on its way to passage in the House of Delegates, with the second reader completed. The amended bill divvies up the funding by percentages to certain counties in the State. Legislation creating a large new funding program for school construction is advancing in the General Assembly. The bill that is headed toward passage in the General Assembly is a heavily amended version of legislation…

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House Swaps School Construction Slice, Tops with Cherry

The House Appropriations Committee approves several budget shifts, adding $62 million to the school construction budget overall for a total of $500 million.  The Governor's proposed budget included $438 million for school construction, including $45 million dedicated to a new school construction program called the Building Opportunity Fund. Now the budget is in the hands of the General Assembly, making its way from the House to the Senate. At the decision meeting of the House…

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Conduit Street Podcast: Committee Crunch Time, Public Safety Pop-Ups, and More!

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast. You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website. Useful Links Previous Conduit Street Coverage: MACo NG911 Initiative Moves to Senate Floor Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Re-prioritizing Public Health: Counties Call for Increase in Local Health Funds Previous Conduit Street Coverage:…

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MACo Proposes Amendments to School Construction Bill to Enable Accessibility for All Counties

On Wednesday, MACo Executive Director Michael J. Sanderson and representatives from counties across the state testified in front of the Budget and Taxation Committee to propose an amendment to SB 159 Building Opportunity Act of 2019 and SB 731 Public School Construction - Maryland Stadium Authority - Supplemental Funds. Overall, MACo supports these pieces of legislation as they provide a response to recommendations that Maryland counties have offered up to the State over the past…

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Cameras, Doors, Vestibules Top List of School Safety Grant Uses

In a memo from the Public School Construction Program, they report that they have received 172 project requests for a total of $7 million of the $10 million first round of this program. In this program, funding is distributed first based on student enrollment in each county and the amount of square feet of school facilities in each county. Then a county a request funding for security projects in all of its schools facilities, including projects…

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MACo Calls for State-Calculated Square Footage to Reflect Real School Needs

On Tuesday, Robin Clark Eilenberg submitted written testimony in support of HB 512 Public School Construction - Maximum Gross Area Allowance for English Learner Students. This bill seeks to align English language learners with other special education categories within the State's school construction area allowance. From the MACo Testimony: Several variables, including the age of students, the overall school population, and the types of students served in a school contribute to the State’s maximum square…

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Special Case Bill Raises Universal Concerns with State School Construction Funding

A bill to expand the types of school construction costs eligible for state funding in certain scenarios reveals how eligible cost definitions limit state funding for K-12 school facilities generally. Legislation in the General Assembly would makes land acquisition, architectural, engineering, consulting, and other school construction planning costs eligible costs for state funding in certain cases. Generally, these costs are not eligible for any state funding -- meaning that they are borne entirely by county…

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A Little Revolving Loan Fund Help from My Friends

The Governor's proposed budget includes $20 million this year, and more in future years for a revolving loan fund for county governments trying to 'get by' in tight fiscal years without stalling school construction projects.  Last year the 21st Century School Facilities Act implemented a recommendation of the 21st Century School Facilities Commission (often called the Knott Commission) to create a revolving loan fund to help counties unable to make the required match for school…

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