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MML Priority Tourism Zones Legislation Passed; Awaiting Governor Moore’s Signature

(April 4, 2024) Annapolis, Md. The Maryland Municipal League (MML)’s priority legislation enabling Maryland’s 157 municipalities to establish Tourism Zones, SB 14 (Sen. Michael A. Jackson) and HB 1281 (Del. Wayne A. Hartman), received final passage yesterday. The bill is now awaiting Governor Moore’s signature, after sharing his support for the concept at MML’s Fall Conference in 2023.  

In addition to allowing local jurisdictions to self-designate the boundaries of a tourism zone, the bill provides the authority to establish definitions for tourism businesses, provide certain local incentives, and set qualifications. Incentives can include real property tax credits, personal property tax credits, and exemption from local Admission and Amusement taxes.

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Updates on Legislation with State and Local Budget Implications

The following legislation has budgetary implications for Maryland municipalities and was passed or died in the last week of the Maryland General Assembly’s 2024 session.

Budget/BRFASB 360/HB 350 & SB 362/HB 352 (Passed) – As passed by the Senate in early March, this year’s budget and accompanying Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) would have reduced local Highway User Revenues (HUR) in FY 26 & FY 27. MML and MACo pushed back against the need to codify those out-year reductions in this year’s budget. The House of Delegates also pushed back and identified some new revenue sources to fund transportation and education moving forward. The compromise deal resulted in an additional $350 million for the State which allows for HURs to be fully funded.  

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Now Accepting 2025 Legislative Action Requests

While the 2024 legislative session nears its conclusion Sine Die, it's never too early to start thinking about next year!

Is there a legislative matter that your municipality, chapter or department would like to see considered as an MML Legislative Priority for the 2025 Legislative session? Complete the 2025 Legislative Action Request (LAR) form by May 31.

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MML Tourism Zones and Speed Camera Legislation Pass Senate and House Ahead of Critical Deadline

(March 19, 2024) Annapolis, Md. Ahead of the crossover deadline, two Maryland Municipal League (MML) priority bills passed out of their original chambers. Approved by the House on Saturday, HB 282 would enable more municipalities to utilize speed cameras by allowing those without a police department to utilize trained technicians to review the images and sign citations. HB 1281, cross-filed with SB 14, which would grant local governments the authority to create tourism zones and provide local incentives, advanced through the House on Monday, March 18. 

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MML Priority Bill to Authorize Tourism Zones moves in Senate

League priority bill SB 14 has received a favorable with amendment report from the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee ahead of the important crossover deadline. The crossfile, HB 1281, has been voted out of its subcommittee and is expected to have a vote in the full House Ways and Means committee soon.

As a refresher, these bills would enable Maryland’s 157 municipalities to establish Tourism Zones, bringing in new visitors, future residents and helping to attract new tourism-related business to cities, towns, and villages across the state. For more information and a recap on the hearing, please see our press release.

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Senate Report on Budget Rejects Major HUR Cuts

On the heels of yet another $250 million revenue writedown, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee’s budget report voted on Friday, March 8 did not adopt a recommendation to cut local Highway User Revenues (HURs) to 9.6% indefinitely.

Local governments currently receive 15.6% of Highway User Revenues, 2.4% of which is dedicated to municipalities. That figure was scheduled to increase due to MML priority legislation passed a few years ago. The DLS recommended cut to 9.6% is consistent with the major cuts made in 2009 that saw municipalities receive just 0.4%.

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MML Leaders Join Del. Kerr for Bill Hearing to Enhance Roadway Safety Through Speed Camera Standardization

MML Leaders Join Del. Kerr for Bill Hearing to Enhance Roadway Safety Through Speed Camera Standardization 

(February 8, 2024) Annapolis, Md. The Maryland Municipal League (MML) joined Del. Ken Kerr at the House Environment and Transportation Committee hearing this afternoon for House Bill 282 which would enable municipalities to utilize trained technicians to review speed camera tickets and issue citations. This change would more closely align speed camera image review with the current manner in which red light tickets are processed throughout Maryland.  

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Cybersecurity Grant Funding Available for Local Governments

The State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) is starting to roll out FY22 and FY23 funding.

Through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Congress established the State and
Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) to “award grants to eligible entities to address
cybersecurity risks and cybersecurity threats to information systems owned or operated by, or
on behalf of, state, local, or tribal governments.”


View announcement for more details.





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MML Priority Speed Camera Standardization Hearing – Thursday, February 8

MML’s priority legislation, House Bill 282, will be heard in the House Environment & Transportation Committee on Thursday, February 8. HB 282 enables trained municipal personnel, in addition to a law enforcement officer, to approve or deny speed camera citations – just like red-light cameras and work zone speed cameras – simply standardizing the practice of camera enforcement.

The health and safety of the citizens who live, work, and play in our communities is one of the most important responsibilities of local governments. Improving the efficacy of municipal speed camera programs will reduce administrative burdens, empower smaller municipalities, and most importantly, enhance public safety.

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MML Leaders Advocate for Tourism Zones in Senate; Joined by Secretary Anderson

(January 18, 2024) Annapolis, Md. – The Maryland Municipal League (MML) joined Senator Michael Jackson and Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kevin Anderson at the Senate Budget and Taxation hearing, January 18, in support of Senate Bill 14. SB 14 would enable Maryland’s 157 municipalities to establish Tourism Zones, bringing in new visitors, future residents and helping to attract new tourism-related business to cities, towns, and villages across the state.

“Representing three districts with diverse needs, literally fits this bill to a tee,” opened the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jackson. “Understanding that each [municipality] has their own particular needs, our job is to – as legislators – try to meet those needs.” The bill, if successful, would allow municipalities to self-designate the boundaries of a tourism zone, to establish definitions for tourism businesses and qualifications for incentives, and to provide certain local incentives. Incentives include, but are not limited to, real property tax credits, personal property tax credits, and exemption from local Admission and Amusement tax.

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MML Priority Tourism Zone Legislation Hearing - Thursday 1/18

MML’s priority legislation, SB 14, to allow municipalities to self-designate Tourism Zones will be heard in the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee on Thursday, January 18.

Modeled off a successful program in Virginia, this MML priority bill would authorize local governments to provide an array of local tax credits or waivers to businesses that aid in expanding tourism. This program would not only bolster the ability of jurisdictions to attract and retain community-oriented businesses, especially for those that lack access to other incentive programs, but to directly expand the State’s general revenue fund and attract new visitors to Maryland.

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Maryland Municipal League Holds Inaugural “State of the Municipality”

  PRESS RELEASE 

Maryland Municipal League Holds Inaugural “State of the Municipality”; Acknowledges $5.2+ Billion Municipal Economic Impact, 42,000 Jobs Supported       

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Maryland Municipal League (MML) Partners with VC3, a National Cybersecurity Firm, to Deliver Services to Local Government in Maryland

Maryland Municipal League (MML) Partners with VC3, a National Cybersecurity Firm, to Deliver Services to Local Government in Maryland

(November 15, 2023) Annapolis, Md. – The Maryland Municipal League (MML), which represents 160 local governments in Maryland, has partnered with VC3 to deliver cybersecurity and technology services to Maryland’s local governments. VC3’s municipal-focused cybersecurity and technology services are consistent with MML's mission to provide leadership and guidance for the towns and cities in the state of Maryland, as well as to help local governments stay innovative and efficient in serving their residents.

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Governor Wes Moore Announces Support of MML’s Tourism Zone Priority at MML Fall Conference

Governor Wes Moore Announces Support of MML’s Tourism Zone Priority at MML Fall Conference

(October 17, 2023) Annapolis, Md. – Governor Wes Moore joined the Maryland Municipal League (MML) Tuesday morning in College Park as the keynote speaker for the 2023 Excellence in Leadership Fall Conference with historic record-breaking attendance. During his remarks, Moore announced his enthusiastic support for MML’s legislative priority to authorize the creation of local tourism zones.

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Lt. Gov Aruna Miller, Mayor Brandon Scott, and Secretary Jake Day Headline Day 2 of MML Fall Conference

Lt. Gov Aruna Miller, Mayor Brandon Scott, and Secretary Jake Day Headline Day 2 of MML Fall Conference

(October 16, 2023) Annapolis, Md. – The Maryland Municipal League (MML) opened its Excellence in Leadership Fall Conference today in the City of College Park, featuring remarks from Housing Secretary Jake Day, Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott, and Lt. Governor Aruna Miller.

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MML Approves 2024 Legislative Priorities

  PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                        

Maryland Municipal League Approves 2024 General Assembly Priorities 

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MML Recognizes Ryan Spiegel and Kumar Barve at Summer Conference

MML Presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Delegate-Designee Ryan Spiegel; Honorary Lifetime Membership Award to Commissioner Kumar Barve

(June 27, 2023) Annapolis, Md. – The Maryland Municipal League (MML), which represents 157 cities and towns and two special taxing districts in Maryland, presented Ryan Spiegel, former MML President and Delegate-designee, with its esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 Summer Conference in Ocean City, Maryland. The League also recognized former Delegate and current PSC Commissioner Kumar Barve as an Honorary Member.

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New MML Board of Directors Announced at Summer Conference

2023-2024 Board of Directors Elected at MML’s Annual Business Meeting

Mayor John Carroll of Galena to Serve as President; Mayor Michael O’Connor of Frederick is President-Elect

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MML Presents City of Laurel and Town of Greensboro with Municipal Achievement Awards

The Maryland Municipal League Presents Municipal Achievement Awards to the Town of Greensboro and City of Laurel

(June 26, 2023) Annapolis, Md. – The Maryland Municipal League (MML), which represents 157 cities and towns and two special taxing districts in Maryland, acknowledged Greensboro and Laurel as the Small Town and Large City winners of its revered Municipal Achievement Award during the Summer Conference.

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MML President Launches Caucus Groups at Summer Conference

The Maryland Municipal League and President Mitchell Announces MML Caucus Groups 

(June 26, 2023) Annapolis, Md. – The Maryland Municipal League (MML), which represents 157 cities and towns and two special taxing districts in Maryland, announced the formation of MML Caucus Groups after a unanimous vote by the MML Board of Directors. Launching caucus groups was a priority for President Denise Mitchell in her 2022-2023 term, modeled on the National League of Cities (NLC) efforts.

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