Congress Advances Significant Mental Health Bills

On Wednesday, May 18th, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to advance two critical pieces of legislation providing mental health support to counties. The bills include H.R. 7666 - Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 and H.R. 7233 - Keeping Incarceration Discharges Streamlined for Children and Accommodating Resources in Education Act (KIDS CARES Act). According to the National Association of Counties (NACo), H.R. 7666 includes the following: Reauthorization of SAMHSA’s Community Mental Health Services…

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States’ Transportation Leaders: Local Partnerships are Key

Local partnerships advance statewide transportation goals, according to a panel of state DOT and local government executives, convened during the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2022 Spring Meeting. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the leading organization for state transportation and highway leaders, convened its spring conference earlier this month, and tackled many topics relating to transportation infrastructure. One message, hitting close to home for Maryland: local transportation priorities…

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What’s in the FY 23 Capital Budget?

The fiscal year 2023 capital budget is now law, authorizing nearly $4 billion in capital projects. Here's what it means for counties. Earlier this week, Governor Larry Hogan signed the FY 23 capital budget into law. It will fund a diverse variety of projects around the state, including those dealing with construction, the environment, affordable housing, and even neighborhood revitalization. More than a quarter of the $4 billion capital budget will be used for convenbtional infrastructure projects…

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Grant Applications to Open for Six State Housing Revitalization Programs

On May 19th, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will open an application portal for six programs supporting local housing, community and economic development, and other revitalization projects. Grants are intended to assist local governments and nonprofits, and run through the following programs: Community Legacy Strategic Demolition Fund – Statewide Strategic Demolition Fund – Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise) Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund Seed…

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State Awarded $6.9 Million to Expand Housing Assistance for Marylanders with Disabilities

Maryland was awarded over $6.9 million in Section 811 grant funds through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Project Rental Assistance Program Grant. This grant award will assist the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in growing statewide affordable rental housing opportunities for low income residents with disabilities. The state is one of only 16 to receive Section 811 grant awards, which totaled $54.7 million. DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt…

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State Dispenses $200 Million for Affordable Housing

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will administer $200 million in financing tools and new programs to produce more than 6,000 additional rental housing units statewide. The funding announcement comes as several supports addressing housing instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have either expired or are winding down including the statewide eviction moratorium and Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Governor Hogan discussed the importance of the new funding in a press release: “During our administration,…

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The Opioid Settlements: Where Are We Now?

The Maryland General Assembly passed, and Governor Larry Hogan has signed, House Bill 1086/Senate Bill  419 - Opioid Restitution Fund - Appropriation of Settlement Funds and Grant Program, which codifies a division of funds agreement between the state and local subdivisions (counties and municipalities) regarding several recent opioid settlements. In November of 2021, MACo, The Maryland Municipal League, and Attorney General Brian Frosh's Office began work on the agreement controlling approximately $395 million in settlement funds…

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A FY23 Budget Compromise: Extra $46M for Police Aid, Targeting Violent Crime

A police funding proposal from Governor Larry Hogan, and debate through the Maryland General Assembly's budget process, yielded a nearly $46 million boost for county police departments across the state, through a special distribution mechanism targeting each county's incidence of violent crime. The Governor's proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 (Senate Bill 290/House Bill 300 - Budget Bill; item D21A01.03) included a nearly additional $46m in State Aid for Police Protection (Police Aid) grants, for…

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Advisory Panel: Keep State Property Tax Rate Flat

Commission on State Debt recommends keeping state property taxes flat for fiscal 2023. The Commission on State Debt today recommended a State property tax rate of 11.2 cents per $100 of assessed value on real property and 28.0 cents per $100 of assessed value on operating real property of public utilities for fiscal 2023. Those rates have been in place since 2007. As an advisory board to the Board of Public Works, the Commission convenes…

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Legal Challenge to SALT Tax Write-off Limits Fails, as SCOTUS Declines Review

A multi-year, multi-state effort to legally challenge federal changes to the tax deductibility of state and local taxes on federal income tax returns has ended, with the Supreme Court's decision to decline a review of the case. Maryland, among several other states, had challenged the federal law limiting the ability of taxpayers to "write off" taxes paid to state and local governments on their state taxes. The 2017 changes limit this deduction to $10,000 and…

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