NACo Releases Presentation on Immigration Reform

The National Association of Counties (NACo) just released a legislative presentation on the topic of immigration reform and the outlook for counties. The NACo's electronic message: The presentation highlights issues including: Why immigration reform matters to counties Context to the immigration reform debate Outlook for legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Key provisions in the Senate immigration bill (S. 744) and the potential impact on counties The U.S. Senate is planning…

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Frederick County Commissioners Approve Operating and Capital Budgets for Fiscal 2014

Frederick County Commissioners approved the county's fiscal 2014 operating and capital budgets during their commission meeting on June 6. Although the $516 million operating budget doesn't increase property tax rates, it does make an adjustment to the rate through changes to the fire tax fund.  It also provides a 1% cost-living allowance and a merit increase for employees. From the Commissioners press release: A key element of the approved budget is that the board addressed…

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Prince George’s County Council Unanimously Approves Fiscal 2014 Budget

The Prince George's County Council recently approved the county's fiscal 2014 budget keeping property taxes level and avoiding employee furloughs. As reported by the Washington Post: The Prince George’s County Council on Thursday unanimously approved a $2.7 billion spending plan that restores Sunday hours at three public libraries, offers a modest increase for public schools and maintains a $50 million economic development fund that County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) has made a centerpiece of…

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Worcester County Commissioners Approve Fiscal 2014 Budget

Worcester County Commissioners approved their fiscal 2014 budget this week maintaining tax rates and providing a 2% cost of living adjustments for employees.  From the county press release: June 4, the Worcester County Commissioners approved the FY 2013/2014 Operating Budget of $168,643,654 in appropriations for the coming fiscal year. This reflects an increase of $2,739,398 or 1.7% more than the FY13 budget due to an increase in anticipated revenues. As promised, the Commissioners did not…

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Allegany County Commissioners Set to Approve Budget, Provide Pay Increases

Allegany County Commissioners plan to give approval to a contract with county roads employees and their fiscal 2014 budget when they on June 6.  As reported by the Cumberland Times-News: The contract would give roads employees a 3 percent cost of living increase over each of the next three years. The contract will be on Thursday’s county commission agenda for approval and signing, said Brian Westfall, director of human resources for the county. Other employees…

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Eligible Counties to Receive Reimbursement for Costs Associated with Extended Unemployment Benefits

Legislation enacted during the 2011 session provided an extended 13 weeks of  unemployment  insurance benefits  to Maryland’s long-term unemployed who  have  exhausted all of their  State and federal emergency unemployment   benefits.  The Federal  government provided 100% funding for private  employers, but the  State and many local governments are self-insured and  were required  to pay these benefits directly to any former  employees who qualify.  After expressing concerns with the fiscal effects of the bill, MACo worked  with the Administration and…

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Budget and Finance Affiliate Meet at MACo to Discuss Many Budget Related Issues

MACo's affiliate organization, the Maryland Association of County Budget and Finance Officers, met on May 29 to discuss the 2013 legislative session and a number of budget related topics.  David Roose, Deputy Comptroller, and Andrew Schaufele, Director of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates, attended the meeting to participate in discussions on tax issues and provide a revenue projection update. Part of the conversation with the Comptroller's Office focused on additional income tax data that could…

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Howard County Council Approves FY 14 Budget with Minor Changes

The Howard County Council approved the county's fiscal year 2014 budget incorporating only minor changes to the budget proposed by County Executive Ulman. As reported by the Baltimore Sun (limited free views available): The Howard County Council adopted a $923.5 million general fund spending plan Thursday that increases allocations for schools and police while not raising income or property taxes. ...The spending plan totals $1.4 billion when counting all money sources, including fire taxes and…

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Communication Tax Reform Commission in Home Stretch – Looking More Closely at State Revenues

The Maryland Communications Tax Reform Commission, which began meeting last fall, held its first meeting of the interim to discuss revenue data collected from the industry and local governments, and provide an analysis of the two proposals offered by the wireless community during its December 2012 meeting. Although the Commission has been charged with assessing the “feasibility and fiscal implications for the State and local governments of a modernized, competitively neutral communications tax and fee…

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Health Officers Discuss Local Health Funding and Health Care Reform

MACo's Legislative Director, Andrea Mansfield, recently met with the Maryland Association of County Health Officers, an affiliate organization of MACo, to discuss local health funding and the health department's role in health care reform.  These discussions are intended to frame discussions that will take place during the interim. The Department of Legislative Services(DLS) released a report at the end of the 2012 interim titled “Survey of Local Health Departments in Maryland” which examined the funding of local health departments…

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