2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: School Construction & Capital Budget

An overview of MACo’s advocacy on school construction and capital budget legislation in the 2020 General Assembly.  County governments partner with the State of Maryland to fund school construction projects throughout Maryland. K-12 school renovation and construction projects make up a substantial portion of any county’s capital budget, and the needs of Maryland students are consistently a high priority. This year, for the first time since the Civil War, the General Assembly adjourned early on…

Comments Off on 2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: School Construction & Capital Budget
Amended School Construction Bill Moving Through Senate

The amended Built to Learn Act would still drive an additional $2.2 billion in school construction funding, by leveraging casino "lockbox" revenues for bonds but makes substantial changes. HB 1 - Built to Learn Act of 2020 would create a large new funding program for school construction. The 2020 bill pulls recommendations from the 2019 Workgroup on the Assessment and Funding of School Facilities. The Built to Learn Act has moved out of the House…

Comments Off on Amended School Construction Bill Moving Through Senate
Burdensome Sidewalk Bill Receives Unfavorable Report

SB 65 - Counties - Construction of Sidewalks and Crosswalks - Safe Alternative Routes to Public Schools was given an unfavorable report in the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. Although MACo supported the goal of this bill, as written it would would have create a significant unfunded mandate for county governments to construct any sidewalks and crosswalks necessary for students living in certain areas to travel to school. If the route to school was not…

Comments Off on Burdensome Sidewalk Bill Receives Unfavorable Report
MACo Raises Practical Concerns for Zero-Emission School Bus Mandate

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin testified on March 4, 2020 to oppose HB 1451 - School Bus Purchasing – Zero-Emission Vehicle – Requirement. This bill would place a costly mandate on school systems and county governments to carry out new state policy to purchase zero-emission vehicles in upcoming years.  From the MACo Testimony: The Fiscal Note prepared by the Department of Fiscal Services recognizes direct costs of purchasing these vehicles, citing zero-emission vehicle cost of…

Comments Off on MACo Raises Practical Concerns for Zero-Emission School Bus Mandate
Counties Oppose Blanket Mandate for Geothermal Energy in Schools

On February 27, 2020 MACo testified before the House Appropriations Committee to oppose HB 665 - Public School Construction and State Buildings – Use of Geothermal Energy. This bill would place a costly mandate on county governments to carry out new state policy to install geothermal energy systems during construction of public schools as well as for any construction that uses at least 50% state funds. From the MACo Testimony: As a rule, MACo resists…

Comments Off on Counties Oppose Blanket Mandate for Geothermal Energy in Schools
Counties Support Building Opportunities Act, Recommend Clarifications

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin testified on February 19, 2020 to support with amendments SB 276 - Building Opportunity Act of 2020. This bill is one of those introduced this session to address school construction funding by establishing the Building Opportunity Financing Fund and the Building Opportunity Facilities Fund. This legislation responds to many of the recommendations Maryland counties have made for the State program over the past several years: it provides a robust State…

Comments Off on Counties Support Building Opportunities Act, Recommend Clarifications
Counties Support Built to Learn Act with “On-Ramp For Everyone”

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee heard testimony on HB 1 -  Built to Learn Act of 2020 on February 19, 2020 after it passed the House of Delegates. MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified in support with amendments to the school construction legislation. The bill leverages casino revenues for revenue bonds, providing a short-term infusion of over $2 billion to school construction projects. His testimony followed a panel of county elected officials, who described…

Comments Off on Counties Support Built to Learn Act with “On-Ramp For Everyone”
Counties Oppose Mandated Solar Panels for All Government Buildings

On February 19, 2020, MACo Policy Associate Drew testified before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee to oppose SB 592 (CF HB 1370) - State-Funded Construction and Major Renovation Projects – Solar Panels - Requirement. This bill would place a costly mandate on county governments to carry out new state policy to place the maximum number of solar panels on a roof as specified during new construction or major renovation projects. From MACo…

Comments Off on Counties Oppose Mandated Solar Panels for All Government Buildings
Counties Oppose Expanding Prevailing Wage Application

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified before the House Economic Matters Committee on February 11, 2020 to oppose HB 582 - Procurement – Prevailing Wage - Applicability.  This bill would extend the application of the State’s prevailing wage law to projects where any amount, even the smallest share, of funds are provided by the State. Prevailing wage rates - which include basic hourly and fringe benefits payments - are set by the Maryland Department of Labor…

Comments Off on Counties Oppose Expanding Prevailing Wage Application
Close Menu