St. Mary’s to Hogan: Ensure We Get More Opioid Settlement Funds

On Tuesday, October 19th, the Commissioners of St. Mary's County sent a letter to Governor Larry Hogan asking that he intervene to ensure local governments receive a fair share of the state's recent opioid settlement. Altogether, the Commissioners request "a split of proceeds that gives 85% to localities and 15% to the state." Moreover, they argue against requiring already overburdened local governments, especially "rural and outer suburban counties and localities," to apply for any settlement funds…

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Capital Debt Affordability Committee Recommends $900M Bond Authorization for FY 23

Today, the State's Capital Debt Affordability Committee (CDAC) approved a recommendation to set the State's bond authorization at $900 million for fiscal year 2023. The committee, chaired by State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, expressed cautious optimism about the State's fiscal health while considering the limit on new state capital debt for the next fiscal year. After a lively discussion and several staff presentations, the committee settled on a recommendation of $900 million. Kopp was the only…

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Hogan Announces Policing Priorities

On Friday, October 15th, Governor Larry Hogan proposed a $150 million initiative in support of police and victims' services. The initiative will include some immediate funds from the state, but other funding priorities will need to be approved by the Maryland General Assembly in its upcoming session. The Maryland Reporter summarized the initiative in a recent article: $45 million for local police aid $50 million for state police compensation $10 million for neighborhood safety grants…

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Hogan Announces Plans for Baltimore City Treatment Center

On October 8th, Governor Larry Hogan announced next steps for the Baltimore Therapeutic Treatment Center, which will be housed within a redeveloped Baltimore City Pretrial Complex. The Department of General Services issued a request for proposal (RFP) to assist in the Center's development. The Baltimore Therapeutic Treatment Center is intended to provide mental health and substance use treatment services and care to nonviolent offenders upon entry into the criminal justice system. It is estimated to take 10…

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Here’s How Governor Hogan Plans to Spend $2.5B Budget Surplus

Governor Larry Hogan this week released a five-point framework for spending a $2.5 billion budget surplus. The massive fund balance -- the result of much larger-than-expected revenue growth, primarily driven by an influx of federal stimulus funding, as well as a significant uptick in personal and business income and consumer spending — is the largest in state history. The five-point plan includes bolstering the state's rainy-day fund, tax relief for retirees and working families, enhancing…

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Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s Want Bigger Bay Bridge

Officials from both Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s County are calling for a larger Bay Bridge as intense traffic becomes a regular issue.  In response to a growing need for congestion relief on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, both Anne Arundel County Council and Queen Anne’s County Council recently passed matching resolutions. These resolutions call for the state to upgrade the current bridge to one continuous structure with eight lanes. "'As the lead sponsor of the…

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State Park Leaders Echo Concerns Presented by MACo and Others

At the latest hearing of the State Park Investment Commission, State Park Leaders voiced funding concerns and stressed the need for investment.  Echoing the testimony of local government officials in September, leaders of Maryland's state parks told the State Park Investment Commission about the dire need for investment. Currently, park rangers make just under $12 an hour, making retention a constant challenge. The pandemic has highlighted the need for outdoor recreational space and the value…

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September Casino Gaming Revenue Tops $165M

Maryland’s six casinos combined to generate over $165 million in gaming revenue in September, contributing $69 million to the state. According to Maryland Lottery and Gaming, September casino gaming revenues were up $21.7 million (15 percent) compared to September 2020, when gaming revenue was $144 million. Casinos were limited to 50 percent capacity in September 2020 due to COVID-19. Contributions from last month's casino gaming revenue totaled $69 million, including $50.1 million for the Education…

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ARPA Explained: A Recap of MACo’s 2021 Fall Symposium

On Wednesday, September 29, MACo held its 2021 Fall Symposium at the Blue Heron Center in Annapolis's Quiet Waters Park. Numerous county leaders, including several elected officials and local budget officers, traveled from across Maryland to discuss the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) with state officials and nonprofit representatives, as well as one another. The Rural Maryland Council also presented on the expansion of broadband in rural communities. The event was moderated by Chris Trumbauer, former…

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Board of Revenue Estimates Approves Nearly $1 Billion Write-Up for FY22

Federal relief funds, higher-than-expected tax revenues drive nearly $1 billion revenue write-up for fiscal 2022. The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates today voted to dramatically increase the revenue projections for fiscal 2022 by 5 percent to $21.1 billion, representing a $995 million increase from the March estimates. Additionally, the Board -- which includes Comptroller Peter Franchot, Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and Budget Secretary David Brinkley -- set the first official revenue forecast for fiscal 2023 at…

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