See How It Went: 2019 Summer #MACoCon Photo Recap

MACo's 2019 Summer Conference – “Winds of Change” – on August 14-17 focused on the evolving nature of government service. This was MACo’s fourth record-breaking year in a row with final attendee registration totaling 1,365, exhibit booths coming in at 235, booth staff numbering well over 953, and 61 Tech Expo booths and 108 booth staff. Thanks to all who participated! The full conference schedule and program of events can be viewed online. Save the…

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Carroll Commissioners Recap 2019 MACo Summer Conference

The Carroll County Commissioners last week briefed constituents on their work at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference. Commissioner Stephen Wantz, Board President said, “MACo’s summer conference is an excellent opportunity to learn from attending sessions, interact with other Maryland counterparts and have extremely productive meetings with Maryland department secretaries and staff; it is one of the best events to get our initiatives accomplished.” According to The Baltimore Sun: “As Dennis (Frazier) says, being commissioner is…

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Counties, Tune Your Scanners to the Volunteer Fire Channel

Panelists at MACo's Summer Conference urged increased communication and partnership between state and county governments and volunteer fire departments. Participants in MACo's Summer Conference Session, Sound the Siren: Maryland's Volunteer Fire Service Needs Help all shared their interest and longtime support for Maryland's volunteer fire companies. Many also shared personal stories that made attendees realize the profound changes that have taken place over the past half-century throughout the US. Sam Goldwater, Strategic Planning Chief of…

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How Protests Birthed Grassroots Advocacy Organizations and Helped Propel Policy Change

At the 2019 MACo Summer Conference session, "From Protest to Policy," attendees learned about the framework, efforts, process, media coverage, that goes into forming and advancing grassroots advocacy movements to generate legislative change. Brian Griffiths, Editor-in-Chief, RedMaryland.com presented about the unique role Red Maryland plays as a media organization to influence policy change in Maryland. Using case studies Griffiths covered endorsements, political surveys and other activism tools they use as a media organization to put…

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Access to MAT: What Does it Mean for Maryland Counties?

With legislation recently passed by the Maryland General Assembly, providing inmates with access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders is a hot topic. HB 116, sponsored by Delegate Erek Barron, requires all county jails and the Baltimore City Detention Center to provide their inmates with access to the full range of MAT (e.g. buprenorphine, methadone, naltrexone) within the next few years. Weber went through the implementation of MAT, including the screen process for…

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Women of MACo Lunch with Speaker Adrienne Jones

It was a packed room for the Women of MACo Luncheon, with dozens in attendance excited to hear from House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones of Baltimore County. Women of MACo President and Frederick County Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer welcomed everyone to the room and did something special. She took time to let everyone in the room introduce themselves and explain who they were. After all introductions were completed, Council Member Keegan-Ayer introduced Speaker…

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How Maryland is Coming Together to Help Our Veterans

In a well-attended session at #MACoCon, moderated by the Honorable Senator Doug Peters, panelists covered county- and state-level efforts to stand up for veterans, reviewed best practices, and introduced the Veterans Services Specialist (VSS) Program in state government. During the panel, goals of the Office of Veterans Affairs were explained to attendees, which include: -Retain Veterans: Create a connection between veterans and employers to ensure each person has an opportunity to train and work in…

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Assistance for Candidates of Foster Care through Family First

Due to the passage of the Family First Preservation Services Act (FFPSA), children identified as a candidate for foster care now are assisted by engaging families in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Another large change discussed by the panelists is the creation of a federal funding mechanism to help prevent the need for a child to enter the foster care system. The panelists included Martha Okafor, the Regional Director, Region 3, Health and Human…

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Finding Ways to Give Small Businesses a Big Boost Towards Success

At the 2019 MACo Summer Conference Session, "Ensuring Small Businesses Excel" attendees learned about the potential opportunities small businesses have to access capital, improve workforce recruitment and training, reduce red tape, improve healthcare, navigate rising costs, and access tax credits.  Moderator Senator Katie Fry Hester kicked the panel off with opening remarks about the Senate's bipartisan interim workgroup of stakeholders exploring the economic realities of small businesses in Maryland. Fry Hester shared personal anecdotes about…

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