Governors Balk at Trump’s Unemployment Benefits Order

Executive order to partially extend enhanced unemployment insurance requires states to fund 25% of extra benefits. President Donald Trump on Saturday signed an executive order that extends additional unemployment payments of $400 a week to help cushion the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress had approved payments of $600 a week at the outset of the public health crisis, but those benefits expired earlier this month and Congress has been unable to agree on…

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Maryland Census Celebrates Champions

The Maryland Census has developed a new initiative known as Census Champions to celebrate individuals or groups who have gone above and beyond to promote the census in their community. Census Champions are selected from nominations submitted to the Maryland Census office, and recipients are posted on their website. Here are some of the recipients: For more information on Maryland 2020 Census Champions, or to make a nomination, visit the Maryland Census website.

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Retooling Your Budget in Times of Crisis

During a live forum, panelists provided updates on state and local budgets and revenue forecasts, along with strategies for how counties can best prepare for future fiscal uncertainties. During the MACo’s Summer Series session “Back to Basics - Retooling Your Budget in Times of Crisis” state and local budget experts discussed the fiscal ramifications of an economy badly battered by the coronavirus pandemic, looked ahead to the next session of the Maryland General Assembly, and…

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Sen. McCray: If Federal Relief Fails, Brace For State Cuts

A State fiscal leader warns a failure to pass the still-in-negotiations federal relief bill could trigger severe budget cuts. As the white-hot speculation continues around the political will to reach a compromise on new and extended federal relief from the coronavirus pandemic, Maryland leaders fear that an inability to reach a deal could have dire local consequences. From coverage in the Maryland Reporter: “I do believe strongly that if we don’t get another stimulus injected…

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Fed Extends Several Emergency Lending Programs By Three Months

The Federal Reserve Board today extended most of its emergency lending programs by three months, through the remainder of 2020, to support an economy still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. "The three-month extension will facilitate planning by potential facility participants and provide certainty that the facilities will continue to be available to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic," the Federal Reserve Board said in a statement Tuesday. Since March, the Federal Reserve has…

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U.S. Senate Republicans Unveil HEALS Act: No New Funding for State & Local Govts

U.S. Senate Republicans today unveiled the HEALS (Help, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools) Act, a $1 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that includes reforming bolstered unemployment benefits, providing support to schools and hospitals, and a new round of economic impact payments structured identically to the rebates sent to taxpayers in the spring. Additionally, Senate Republicans have prioritized liability protections for businesses, which would ostensibly protect them from coronavirus-related lawsuits, but opted not to include needed…

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Maryland Generates $180 Million Premium from $1.1 Billion Bond Sale

The State of Maryland last week sold $1,011.4 million in general obligation (GO) bonds for capital projects. This included $540 million in new tax-exempt bonds, $115.8 million in tax-exempt refunding bonds, and $355.6 million in taxable advanced refunding bonds. Maryland typically issues tax-exempt GO bonds twice a year to support the State’s nontransportation capital program. The true interest cost (TIC) for the sale bonds is 1.11%. The TIC for the most recent bond sale on…

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Governors Hogan And Cuomo Urge Senate to Approve State Stabilization Funding In COVID-19 Relief Bill

Governors Larry Hogan, the National Governors Association chair, and Andrew Cuomo of New York, the NGA vice-chair, are calling on the U.S. Senate to include state stabilizing funding in the next COVID-19 relief bill, which is expected to pass Congress in the next few weeks. "The rapid economic downturn has left no region of the country untouched and has stressed every aspect of state delivery of critical needs and services to residents," Hogan and Cuomo…

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