Local Election Officials: Fund New Pollbooks 50/50 State/County

Today, the Maryland Association of Election Officials (MAEO) and the Montgomery County Board of Elections sent letters urging that a pending funding request for new electronic pollbooks follow the same 50/50 state/county funding split as other comparable equipment since 2001. The State Board of Elections plans to replace electronic pollbooks -- which are used to check in voters at polling places across the state -- in time for the 2022 election cycle. While the State…

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New Treasury FAQ: Addressing Violent Crime

The US Department of the Treasury today released a Frequently Asked Questions document that provides clarification on both general eligible uses of Recovery Funds and new eligible uses to increase public safety as outlined in the Biden-Harris Administration’s strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime and ensure public safety.  As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Recovery Fund, authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act, is providing $65.1 billion in direct, flexible aid to every county…

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Treasury Releases ARPA Reporting Requirements

Join the US Department of the Treasury for a briefing on new ARPA reporting requirements. The US Department of the Treasury today released Compliance and Reporting Guidance (Reporting Guidance) for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (Recovery Fund), authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act. The guidance provides additional detail and clarification for counties’ compliance and reporting responsibilities under the Recovery Fund. Treasury will host the following briefings for counties regarding the new…

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Workgroup on Pandemic Spending to Hear From Commerce, DHCD

Representatives from Commerce, DHCD will provide details on COVID relief aid. The Comptroller’s Workgroup on Pandemic Spending will hold its second meeting on Wednesday, June 23, at 1:30 pm to continue its review of state and federal COVID-related spending. Sarah Sheppard, director of Education and Workforce for the Maryland Department of Commerce, and Robyne Chaconas, chief of staff for the Department of Housing and Community Development, will give overviews of pandemic relief programs, funded by…

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New Treasury ARPA FAQ: Broadband Spending

The US Department of the Treasury today released a revised Frequently Asked Questions document that provides clarifications on key questions related to the broadband provisions of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds' Interim Final Rule. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Recovery Fund, authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act, is providing $65.1 billion in direct, flexible aid to every county in America, as well as other crucial investments in local communities. Today’s update…

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PSC Distributes $83 Million to Help Cover Past-Due Utility Bills

The Maryland Public Service Commission today allocated $83 million in state funding to utilities to help customers with delinquent bills, particularly arrearages incurred amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is part of the RELIEF (Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families) Act passed by the Maryland General Assembly earlier this year, and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan. Maryland utilities report that thousands of residential customers are behind on their bills for…

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Unemployment Issues Spark Debate During Legislative Briefing

Multiple issues with unemployment benefits - from the Governor's recent decision to withdraw from expanded federal benefit levels, to new frustrations with recipient access - fueled a two-hour meeting of a House of Delegates committee. During the June 8 meeting of the House Economic Matters Committee, Administration officials discussed their ongoing efforts to improve and complete access to unemployment benefits amidst a worry of fraudulent applications, and defended the Governor's decision to discontinue Marylanders' receipt…

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State & Local Employment Still Down, Trailing National Trends

Despite a jump in overall employment, the latest reports show state and local jobs remaining unfilled, notably in education. While the American economy, with its mystifying mix of signs and signals, has continued to regain many jobs lost during the pandemic, job totals in state and local governments appear to be recovering more slowly. From coverage on Route Fifty, "State and Local Employment Remains Stubbornly Down" comes this insight: State and local government employment was…

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Maryland Casinos Set New Monthly Revenue Record

For the second time in three months, Maryland’s six casinos set a single-month gaming revenue record, generating $172,394,450 during May 2021, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The figure surpasses the previous single-month record of $169,179,016, which was set in March 2021. Last month's casino revenue represents an increase of $20,118,651 (13.2 percent) compared to May 2019, when gaming revenue was $152,275,799. All six casinos were closed throughout May 2020 due to…

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New Treasury FAQ on ARPA Funding

The US Department of the Treasury has released a revised Frequently Asked Questions document, addressing inquiries that have arisen in the early implementation stages of the State and Local funding through the recent ARPA legislation. This update includes answers to the following frequently received questions: My county is a unit of general local government with population under 50,000.  Will my county receive funds directly from Treasury? My local government expected to be classified as a…

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